Australian Banking Association (financial relief programs)

Summary

On 30 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) applied for authorisation on behalf 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, and supporting government initiatives (Proposed Conduct).

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

On 30 March 2020, the ACCC granted interim authorisation, subject to the conditions which broadly require that:

·         the ABA seek the approval of the ACCC where the coordination by Member Banks involves agents or suppliers that Member Banks compete with, and

·         the ABA notify the ACCC of any financial relief program or other arrangement arising from the Proposed Conduct, prior to its implementation.

Further detail on the ACCC’s decision and the conditions of interim authorisation is provided in the Interim Authorisation Statement of Reasons, linked below.

The ACCC is seeking submissions on the conduct authorised in the interim authorisation and the subject of the ABA’s substantive application for authorisation. Details on how to make a submission to the ACCC can be found in the correspondence below.

If you intend to provide a submission please do so by Friday 1 May 2020. Submissions should be emailed to adjudication@accc.gov.au. In addition, should you wish to make a submission beyond 1 May 2020 in relation to your experience with the impact of the conduct, please contact the ACCC at adjudication@accc.gov.au.

We recognise that the COVID-19 situation may be causing disruptions to normal operations. For this reason we are taking a flexible approach to receiving feedback on the conduct. You may wish to contact us by phone to discuss your views or submission before this deadline.

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

An indicative 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 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.

July 2020

Draft determination

July 2020

Public consultation on draft determination including any conference if called.

September 2020

Final determination.

Applicant(s)

  • Australian Banking Association

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000482-1