Complaint handling principles

  • These principles apply to the Commonwealth Bank, its employees and its representatives. When responding to customer complaints in Australia, our employees and our representatives will at all times:
    1. Ensure it is free for our customers to make a complaint to us.
    2. Listen to our customers and take the time to understand their concerns.
    3. Act honestly, consistently and fairly in the handling of all complaints.
    4. Empower our employees and representatives to act with authority and integrity when investigating and resolving complaints.
    5. Keep our customers or their representatives updated on the progress of their complaint, use plain English and consider any communication or accessibility assistance they may need.
    6. Apologise as soon as we become aware we have done the wrong thing and apply the Commonwealth Bank’s ‘Should we’ test to make things right.
    7. Consider our customers’ personal circumstances with sensitivity and respect, particularly if they are experiencing vulnerability, and provide appropriate support.
    8. Investigate complaints thoroughly and without unnecessary delay.
    9. Make a genuine attempt to resolve complaints as quickly as possible, and provide prompt financial compensation where it is the right thing to do.
    10. Co-operate with external dispute resolution bodies.
    11. Learn from the complaints we receive and escalate issues which could impact other customers.
    12. Endeavour to avoid legal proceedings by using alternative dispute resolution processes whenever possible. Where it’s not possible to avoid litigation, we’ll adhere to our Model Litigant Principles (PDF).

What happens after you've made your complaint?

    1. We’ll acknowledge your complaint

      Most complaints can be resolved on the spot or within days.

      We may need to get the right team (such as Group Customer Relations) to look into it. If this is the case, we’ll let you know we’ve received your complaint (generally by the next business day), give you a reference number, and let you know the name and contact details of the person who’s handling it as soon as we can.
    2. We’ll assess the information we have and investigate the issues

      We’ll assess the information you give us, investigate the issues and work with you to find a fair solution.

      For general insurance product or service complaints, we’ll let you know about our progress at least every 10 business days, unless it is resolved earlier or you agree to a different timeframe.

    3. We’ll work with you to find a fair outcome

      We’ll aim to provide a final response to your complaint as quickly as we can. If we're unable to do this within 30 days, we'll tell you the reason for the delay, give you a date you can expect to hear an outcome and continue to update you on our progress.

      If your complaint relates to electronic payments (including ATM, EFTPOS, credit card transactions, online payments and BPAY) we’ll aim to respond within 21 days. If we’re unable to respond in time, we’ll let you know why.

If you're unhappy with our final response or our handling of your complaint

  • If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can lodge a dispute with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). They provide a fair and independent, free complaint resolution service:

    Phone: 1800 931 678 (free call)
    Address: GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC, 3001

  • If your complaint is about your privacy or how we handle your Consumer Data Right (CDR data), you can also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:

    Phone: 1300 363 992
    Postal address: GPO Box 5288, Sydney NSW 2001

Need help making a complaint?

  • Authorising someone to help you

    You can appoint someone (must be 18 years or older) to manage your complaint on your behalf, for example, a friend or family member, a legal or accredited representative, or financial counsellor. Generally, we’ll talk to your representative if you authorise us to do so but in some instances, we may need to get more information (such as their accreditation) from them first.

  • Easy English guide to making a complaint

    Many people find it hard to read and understand written information. Easy English is similar to plain language in that it’s concise and easy to understand. Our Easy English Complaint Guide (PDF) explains how to make a complaint and what happens if you do.

  • Accessibility support

    TTY number

    Type telephone service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disorder.

    • Call 133 677 then ask for 13 2221

    SMS relay

    Relay service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disorder.

    For more info, visit the National Relay Service. You’ll need to register with the NRS before using their service.

    Voice relay number

    Voice relay service for people who have a speech disorder.

    Interpreter services

    If English isn’t your first language, you can access a free interpreter service through Translating and Interpreter Services. This service is provided by the Department of Home Affairs and is available in over 150 languages. You can ask our staff to arrange this service for you at any of our branches or by calling us on 13 2221.