Bank woes down

BANKERS are gaining favour among their clients according to a recent report, which found a sharp decrease in the number of complaints from bank customers.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission recently released its annual monitoring report on compliance with the Banking, Credit Union and Building Society Codes of Practice and the Electronic Funds Transfer Code.

The report found that the level of complaints under the Banking Code of Conduct decreased from 3.28 per million transactions in the 2001-02 reporting period to 2.17 in the current one. At the same time the number of banking transaction rose by about 500 million, to 4,334 million.

While bankers are being won over, the report concluded that credit unions were losing their appeal with customers.

While still low in number, the level of complaints rose from 3.8 per million in the last period to 5.8 per million in the current period.

There was a smaller increase under the Building Society Code, from 1.2 to 1.7 per million transactions.

ASIC deputy executive director of consumer protection, Delia Rickard, said the largest number of disputes under the banking and credit union codes related to electronic funds transfer-based transactions. Other common complaint categories were fees and charges, account debiting and crediting and service delivery.

The number of ATM and EFTPOS transactions continued to rise, increasing by 140 million to over 1,640 million transactions during the past year, while the level of complaints rose from 121,434 in 2000-01 to 132,517 in 2001-02.

The majority of the complaints involving PIN-based transactions related to systems malfunctions, which rose by more than 18 per cent to 97,000 in the past year. Complaints about unauthorised transactions fell by 6.2 per cent to 23,978, or 14 million transactions. Of these, the customer was found to be liable in 57 per cent of cases.

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