Standards spelt out in consumer banking practice code

ATM machines at Changi Airport.
ATM machines at Changi Airport.PHOTO: ST FILE

We note the experience of Mr Ivan Teo's friend and would like to assure Mr Teo and his friend that banks in Singapore are committed to their customers' interests, and take feedback and complaints seriously (Independent oversight needed in banking to protect consumer interests, June 4).

The Association of Banks in Singapore's (ABS) Code of Consumer Banking Practice outlines the baseline standard of good banking practices that consumers may expect of their banks.

Included in the code is a structured dispute resolution process that seeks to ensure that complaints are dealt with sincerely, transparently and promptly.

The code stipulates that all complaints are to be investigated, and the status of the investigation communicated to the customer within 14 business days.

An appeal may be made subsequently to the bank's Quality Service Department, which will provide a written response within 14 business days.

Consumers may also take their case to the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (Fidrec) for mediation and adjudication.

Fidrec is an independent and impartial institution, with oversight by a board consisting of senior leaders with backgrounds in judiciary, consumer advocacy and the financial industry.

The ABS Culture and Conduct Steering Group (CCSG) is the industry's latest initiative to uphold values, attitudes and behaviours that safeguard customers' interests.

The CCSG seeks to promote sound culture and raise conduct standards across the industry, in recognition that culture drives employee behaviour, leading to positive outcomes for customers.

It will monitor trends to identify issues within the industry, and collaborate with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on initiatives to promote strong culture and conduct within the industry.

We thank Mr Teo for his suggestion to include relevant representatives from outside the banking industry in the CCSG, and will consider it when we next review the CCSG's composition.

Ong-Ang Ai Boon

Director

The Association of Banks in Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2019, with the headline 'Standards spelt out in consumer banking practice code'. Print Edition | Subscribe