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New banking code aims to ensure fair deal for customers

The sponsors of the banking codes in the UK, which include the British Bankers' Association, the Building Societies Association and APACS - the UK payments association, have announced the changes that will be made to the personal and business banking codes from March 2008 following a public consultation and review by independent reviewer Mike Young.

Among the new measures being adopted are: More help for customers who may be heading towards financial difficulties; greater clarity of information on products, including pre-sale summary boxes for unsecured loans and savings accounts; prohibition of account closure solely because a customer has made a valid complaint; strengthened credit assessment practices to enhance responsible lending; information on the forthcoming unclaimed assets (dormant accounts) schemes; greater certainty in cheque clearance and greater transparency of information for credit cards and credit card cheques.

Angela Knight, CEO of the British Bankers’ Association, said: The banking code is the charter that sets out how customers are treated by their banks and building societies. It is there to ensure that everyone – both customers and financial providers – know what they have to do and where their responsibilities lie. These revisions to the code reflect the need to keep up with a changing world. It will continue to underpin the treatment and protection customers value and have every right to expect.