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Final Conduct Standard for Banks – Aims to ensure fair treatment of bank customers

“The Conduct Standard for Banks is the first step towards rolling out a comprehensive market conduct regulatory framework for the banking sector. The main objective of the Conduct Standard is to introduce requirements ensuring the fair treatment of financial customers of banks,” the FSCA notes in FSCA communication 38 OF 2020 (BANKS).

The just-released Conduct Standard covers the following sections:

1. Definitions
2. Application and general obligations
3. Culture and governance
4. Design, suitability and performance requirements for financial products and financial services
5. Additional requirements in respect of retail financial customers
6. Advertising
7. Disclosures
8. Complaints
9. Refusal, withdrawal or closure of financial products or financial services by the bank
10. Termination, closure or switching of financial products or financial services by the financial customer

According to the original supporting documentation, the Conduct Standard was designed to follow the sequencing of the six Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) Outcomes as well as the sequencing of the typical financial product lifecycle. As a result. the various requirements set out in the Conduct Standard were directly informed by the TCF Outcomes.

The Conduct Standard will come into operation as follows:

(a) Sections 1 and 2 come into operation on the date of publication
(b) Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 come into operation 8 months after the date of publication.
(c) Sections 7, 8, 9, and 10 come into operation 12 months after the date of publication.

The detail of each section will be discussed in future articles.

To download the documents, click on the various links:

Conduct Standard 3 of 2020 (BANKS) (Annexure A)
Statement supporting the Conduct Standard for Banks (Annexure B)
Consultation Report Conduct Standard for Banks (Annexure C).

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