Define: Banking Code

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Banking Code



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Full Definition of Banking Code


The updated Banking Code and Business Banking Code contain an enhanced promise by banks and building societies to treat customers fairly and reasonably. The Banking Code and Business Banking Code are reviewed every three years.

Changes to the codes were made after consultation with consumer groups, HM Treasury, the Financial Services Authority, the Office of Fair Trading and other interested parties.

As well as the enhanced promise of fairness, further key improvements to the code include A new commitment on responsible lending; more help for customers who may be heading towards financial difficulties and strengthened credit assessment practices to enhance responsible lending.

Also, clearer information about products, including pre-sale summary boxes for unsecured loans and savings accounts; prohibition of account closure as a result of a customer making a valid complaint; information on how to find your lost account (dormant account); greater clarity of cheque clearance times; and clearer information about credit cards and credit card cheques.

The Banking Code and Business Banking Code – sponsored by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association (BSA) and APACS – the UK payments association – are voluntary codes, which set the standards of good banking practice for banks and building societies to follow when they are dealing with personal customers in the UK.

As voluntary codes, they allow competition and market forces to work to encourage higher standards for the benefit of customers. The first Banking Code was introduced in December 1991 and took effect from March 16th 1992.

The first Business Banking Code was introduced in December 2001 and took effect from March 31st 2002.

Both codes are monitored independently by the Banking Code Standards Board.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Banking Code are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February, 2020