The Bank recognises it has access to considerable resources when dealing with contentious legal matters involving its customers. In taking steps to protect its own interests, the Bank will conduct itself honestly and fairly at all times and have regard to the following guidelines when it is involved in litigation with its customers:
- We will act honestly and fairly. The Bank strives to always deal with customers with the utmost respect and integrity in a way that is honest and fair, and in line with customer and community expectations.
- We will deal with claims promptly. We will seek to progress every claim promptly and without unnecessary delays.
- We will make an early assessment of the Bank’s prospects of success. If an early assessment indicates we do not have reasonable prospects of successfully prosecuting or defending a claim, we will seek to resolve the claim promptly and without litigation.
- We will endeavour to limit the scope of litigation, including by participating in alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. We are committed to seeking to resolve claims by listening and engaging with customers. We consider litigation to be a last resort and will take all reasonable steps to resolve a dispute through alternative methods before commencing Court proceedings.
- If litigation cannot be avoided, we will take reasonable steps to keep litigation costs down. We will not take advantage of a customer who lacks resources and we will focus on the real issues in dispute.
- We will not appeal a court decision unless there are reasonable prospects of success.