Plain english card contracts – at last

The new credit union and building society Mutual Banking Code of Practice came into effect this month. Its self-regulatory initiatives will be adopted by credit unions and mutual building societies Australia-wide, benefitting close to 4.6 million customers.

The Code of Practice requires that all product information is supplied to consumers in Plain English and clearly spells out credit card terms, interest rates, fees and charges that will resemble actual costs incurred by the borrower. The Mutual Banking Code of Practice sets out in clear language the rights of members and the responsibilities of their lenders.

Other aspects include ‘practical' promises to members, such as:

* Making sure members only borrow what they can afford to pay back, and giving help to those members who get into financial difficulties;
* Ensuring exception fees are reasonable compared to actual costs;
* Implementing fair terms and conditions for our products and making sure that members are fully informed of any fees and charges applicable to products and services;
* Providing members with access to advice and dispute resolution services should they have a concern.

Source: Abacus