Australian Banking Association (financial relief programs)

Summary

On 30 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) applied for authorisation on behalf of its current and future member banks (Member Banks) (including third party suppliers and/or agents, where relevant) and their subsidiary banks, to discuss, agree, and give effect to any contract, arrangement or understanding between them for the benefit of their customers with the broad purpose of providing financial relief and assistance to customers in any sector of the economy or customer segment, supporting government initiatives and ensuring high levels of customer service and access to banking (Proposed Conduct).

Further detail is contained in the application for authorisation, linked below.

On 30 March 2020, the ACCC granted conditional interim authorisation to the ABA to allow them to engage in the conduct while the ACCC assessed the substantive application for authorisation.

On 1 July 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to the ABA for 12 months from the date on which final authorisation is granted. The full draft determination document is linked below.

On 14 August 2020, the ACCC granted conditional authorisation to the ABA until 14 August 2021. Authorisation is subject to two conditions that broadly require:

·        The ABA notify the ACCC where coordination by Member Banks involves their suppliers or agents that compete with each other or with Member Banks, and

·        The ABA notify the ACCC of any arrangement arising from the Proposed Conduct, prior to its implementation.

The ACCC’s final determination is made on 14 August 2020, if no application for review of the determination is made to the Australian Competition Tribunal, the authorisation will come into effect on 5 September 2020.

The full final determination document can be found below.

Further information on the application for authorisation, including the contents of the support package, is available below.

A timetable is set out below for your information.

30 March 2020

Lodgement of application and supporting submission, including request for interim authorisation.

30 March 2020

Interim authorisation decision.

3 April 2020

Public consultation process begins.

1 May 2020

Closing date for submissions on the substantive application for authorisation from interested parties.

June 2020

Applicant responds to issues raised in the public consultation process.

1 July 2020

Draft determination.

July 2020

Public consultation on draft determination including any conference if called.

14 August 2020

Final determination.

5 September 2020

Authorisation comes into effect.

Applicant(s)

  • Australian Banking Association

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000482-1

Decisions

ACCC correspondence

Submissions - after draft decision