Mobile banking codes of practice
Mobile banking guidelines feature in the latest revision of the banks' code of practice, but a commitment to firming up responsible lending rules is still on hold.
The fifth edition of the code, which details exactly what customers rights and responsibilities are when dealing with their banks, was released this morning.
"We would have liked to have seen something explicit about responsible lending," said Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.
She said the majority of people were satisfied with the banks' lending practices, but there were still some instances of pushy behaviour.
A spokesman for the New Zealand Bankers' Association said the independent reviewer - lawyer and former ACT party MP Stephen Franks- found that adding a new section would be redundant.
"In our view, those provisions are included in the code", he said.
Those included customers being given the information needed to make an informed decision, and banks only providing or increasing credit if they thought the customer could meet the terms.
NZBA was also wary of pre-empting any code which might come out of the ongoing consumer law reform.
Chief executive Kirk Hope said the existing code was working well on the whole.
"We're at the point where it gets updated to reflect good industry practice and to take into account new technology, rather than needing a major overhaul", he said.
The tweaks included looking at the use of mobile apps and smartphones, with the banks promising to "take appropriate measures" to ensure their mobile apps were secure.
In return, customers were obliged not to leave phones logged in and unattended, to use a lock of some kind, and to notify their bank as soon as possible if their device was lost or stolen.
The NZBA encouraged consumers to actually read the 51-page manual, which its 13 member banks are obliged to follow.
"If you have a relationship with a bank, you need to know about the code," said Hope.
Earlier this year, Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell's mystery shoppers found only 52 per cent of branches had the booklet on display.
"I would suggest that the code should be on display in every branch, so I am frustrated to see a decrease from 61 per cent last year," she said in a report.
This revision will see member banks put the code on their websites from July 1,in addition to the hard copies.
The revised edition of the code is available on the NZBA website at www.nzba.org.nz/banking-standards/code-of-banking-practice/
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