Want to cancel your credit card? It’s about to get much easier

cardUnsolicited credit card limit increases will be banned and customers will be empowered to quickly cancel credit cards online under dramatic changes to the banking industry’s code of practice.

As it rushes to rebuild trust in the scandal-plagued sector, the Australian Bankers Association (ABA) will also push its members to make unpopular transaction fees more transparent and for small business contracts to be written in plain English.

The ABA says the restructured code will ensure “a more prominent commitment to ethical behaviour” as the industry confronts a royal commission into evidence of bad and unethical banking behaviour.

ABA chief executive Anna Bligh described the strengthened code as a huge voluntary step by the banking industry after a major initiative announced in April 2016 to bolster standards in the face of rolling scandals.

“Banks are committed to change and the new code is stronger, broader and written in simple to understand language,” Ms Bligh said.

“The new set of rules and behaviours will go a long way in addressing the expectations that Australians have of their banks.

“Banks most certainly do not underestimate the challenge ahead of them and will continue to make necessary changes.”

The revised code of practice is expected to be implemented within the next 12 months as the banking industry manages fallout from the royal commission.

The lodging comes after an independent review by banking veteran Phil Khoury said “community pressure on the banking industry is high” and that ASIC approved was required to ensure any new code is strengthened and properly monitored.