Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Banking Standards Board sets out five principles in new consumer framework

Out-Law News | 29 Jul 2019 | 4:22 pm | 1 min. read

The Banking Standards Board (BSB) has unveiled its first-ever consumer framework, setting out five principles for good service and what implementation of these would look like for consumers.

The publication of the framework follows an extensive consultation, after which the BSB cut down the number of suggested principles from seven.

The five principles (9 page / 566KB PDF) cover access to firms and products; clarity and transparency; safety and security; responsiveness, and fairness.

Each principle is accompanied by a description of how firms should meet it, and how consumers would see the principle being implemented. Banks are encouraged to communicate clearly with their customers, protect assets and data from fraud or hacking, provide access to easily navigable forms of redress, and provide appropriate services to consumers irrespective of individual circumstances.

Banking expert Andrew Barber of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, welcomed the framework.

“The BSB’s newly published consumer framework is another helpful tool for firms to use in their ongoing approach to treating customers fairly and ensuring good customer outcomes. The narrowing of the number of principles and further work to remove overlap and achieve consistency with materials already available to firms is all helpful and should encourage firms to use the framework,” Barber said.

The BSB said it would follow up the publication by continuing its work on consumer protection. It said it would use evidence from its annual assessment and other sources to focus on how the framework could be used most effectively by firms.

This work could include addressing issues identified by employees as preventing them from serving customers well and learning from what employees see as helping them provide good customer service; how to make the customer perspective more salient to employees; and how firms currently measure or gauge customer outcomes.

The BSB said the work around the consumer framework was designed to help it better understand consumer issues and concerns and enable consumer organisations to engage more readily with aspects of its work.