You have the right to cancel your direct debits at the bank as part of maintaining control over your finances. If a creditor isn’t being reasonable about a hardship request or direct debits are leaving you with no money or default fees/overdrawn accounts, get in there and stop them.

“But the bank says I can’t do that!”

Knowledge of frontline bank staff when it comes to stopping direct debits is a recognised problem in the banking industry and has been for years. Over 50% of frontline bank staff surveyed by the CCMC  in 2017 still did not know that you have this right, despite eleven years compliance checks and recommendations.


Where to point your bank teller to:

Code of Banking Practice: (Complying banks)

21.1. We will take and promptly process your: (a) instruction to cancel a direct debit request relevant to a banking service we provide to you


21.2. We will not direct or suggest that you should first raise any such request or complaint directly with the debit user (but we may suggest that you also contact the debit user).

Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice: (Complying banks)

20.1. We will act promptly to cancel a direct debit facility linked to your transaction account if you ask us to do so, and we will give you an estimate of how long cancellation will take. We will not tell you to try to cancel the facility with the biller or other direct debit user first (but we may suggest that you also contact the direct debit user).

If your financial situation is in stress and/or you are finding direct debits making your money management difficult, call Midlas on 08 9250 2123 to make a free appointment to see an independent, confidential Financial Counsellor.

Midlas Mission: We partner with individuals and organisations to promote independence, strength and wellbeing in our community through support, advocacy and education.