Description of Conduct

On 8 December 2023, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) lodged an application for minor variation to authorisation AA1000441 to amend the Banking Code to provide for potential future developments in relation to payments methods technology and basic bank accounts.

On 1 February 2024, the ACCC issued a determination granting a minor variation to the authorisation to authorise changes to certain minimum requirements of basic bank accounts offered to low-income customers under the Banking Code. The Banking Code will be amended to provide that basic bank accounts will have access to the customer’s choice of a widely accepted debit payment method offered on their basic bank account, including a debit card, rather than only a widely accepted debit card.

Authorisation, as varied, will remain in place until 12 December 2024.

On 21 November 2019 the ACCC issued a determination granting authorisation with conditions for 5 years to enable the ABA and its current and future members to implement, in the 2019 Banking Code, recommendations made in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry relating to informal overdrafts, dishonour fees, and default interest charged on loans secured by agricultural land. The authorisation also related to certain minimum requirements relating to basic bank accounts.

Under the conditions, ABA member banks must either not charge interest, or refund any interest charged, on informal overdrafts on basic accounts held by eligible low income customers if the customer has not agreed to an overdraft facility. Banks must also proactively identify customers who may be eligible for basic accounts.

The ABA must also report to the ACCC on several matters; including any changes to the number of banks offering basic bank accounts, how often informal overdrafts are occurring on basic accounts held by eligible customers without the customer’s agreement, and the steps that banks have taken to contact existing customers who might be eligible for a basic account. These reports will be made available on the ACCC’s public register.

On 23 November 2020 the ABA requested, and on 3 December 2020 the ACCC agreed to, variations to reporting conditions.



Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000441-2


Document title Date
Australian Payments Plus