Customer owned banks that subscribe to the Code have made a commitment to ensure their advertising and promotional material is not misleading or deceptive:

“We will not mislead or deceive you either by what we say or represent, or by omission (what we fail to say or represent). We will have regard to ASIC regulatory guidance about advertising financial products and services including credit when developing and reviewing our advertising and promotional material.” (Part D, clause 1.1, Delivering on our Promises)

Relationship to other laws

This clause of the Code restates existing legal obligations prohibiting misleading and deceptive conduct under the ASIC Act, as well as State and Territory Fair Trading laws. It does not impose any additional obligations on the customer owned bank beyond what the law already requires.

Common compliance pitfalls

Promotional material will be misleading or deceptive if it is capable of inducing error on the part of the audience. This means that whether an advertisement is misleading depends on its effect on consumers – not on your intention or our staff’s intention.

Good industry practice

  • There are some general principles you should consider when evaluating the form and content of your promotional material:Material will be misleading if it contains information that is untrue or contrary to the facts.
  • It is possible to mislead by omissions. Leaving out (or concealing) a vital piece of information has the potential to distort the overall message conveyed.
  • Disclaimers and/or qualifications may sometimes be effective in limiting the message conveyed if they are sufficiently prominent and easy to read.
  • A limited degree of exaggeration in advertising or promotional material is permitted. However, there is a fine line between acceptable exaggeration and statements that are considered to be misleading.

Good industry practice include:

  • ensure that all advertisements and promotional material are carefully evaluated before release
  • develop and use an advertising checklist, and
  • train and educate marketing staff and branch staff that interact with customers adequately to avoid inadvertently making misleading representations.

Find out more

Further information on good advertising practices can be found in the:

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