Banks told to make remote service contracts more customer-friendly

The banks must inform customers already using remote banking services of any changes made to their contract as a result of Lehman's order.

By DANIEL KENNEMER
May 31, 2006 07:17
1 minute read.
bank teller 88

bank teller 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Banking Supervisor Yoav Lehman instructed Israel's commercial banks this week to make changes to their contracts on banking transactions by Internet and cellphone to further ensure customer rights. In so doing, Lehman extended a February court verdict that bound only Bank Hapoalim to all banks and credit card companies. "This instruction comes as an additional part in the operations of the Banks Supervising Office toward improving fairness in relations between the banks and their customers," the Bank of Israel said. "Handling discriminatory clauses in banks' uniform contracts is complex and time-consuming, and whenever the Banks Supervising Office obtains the permission of [the relevant court] in relation to the contract of a specific bank, it extends this [permission] to the banking system as a whole." The banks must inform customers already using remote banking services of any changes made to their contract as a result of Lehman's order. Other contracts currently under examination by Lehman's office and the court are those governing mortgages and sales collateral, the central bank noted. Changes required by Monday's order include striking clauses exempting the bank or credit card company from responsibility for unauthorized transactions in a customer's account or for disseminating information on the remote service to a third party, as well as any clause declaring the customer's acknowledgement of the risk of mishaps. The contracts must also limit the exemption given to banks from responsibility for technical mishaps involving the remote service (such as those involving computer software or communications lines) to only those mishaps that occur in a part of the service out of the banks' control. Furthermore, there must be symmetry between the right of the customer to end the remote service arrangement and the right of the bank to do so, and the bank must inform the customer 14 days before any services included in the remote banking agreement are dropped.

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