Consumer Credit

Is responsible lending discriminatory?

In Lomax v National Australia Bank Ltd (Human Rights) [2014] VCAT 348 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed a claim by a 66 year old customer of NAB that NAB engaged in age discrimination when his finance proposals were rejected. The Tribunal particularly reviewed ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 209.

The customer had applied for an injunction against NAB taking enforcement action in respect of a business line of credit account which was in default. NAB had already given the customer temporary hardship relief after his business fell into financial difficulty.

The customer said that the bank’s lending guidelines for a […]

Financial Services and Credit Responsible Manager CPD seminars

Our CPD seminars are taking place in Sydney on 6 May and Brisbane on 13 May. The seminar will focus on the most important regulatory issues affecting financial services responsible managers today including conduct risk, privacy and credit reporting.

Seats are limited. Book now.

Transition period ends on 30 June 2014
The transition period for responsible managers of credit licensees to hold relevant qualifications ends on 30 June (see ASIC RG206 and PF 224).

Licensees demonstrate organisational competence by having responsible managers with adequate skills and knowledge. In their license application applicants have to identify key people in […]

Credit reporting privacy code varied

Following an application by the Australian Retail Credit Association the Information Commissioner has approved a variation to extend the 5 day ‘grace period’ to 14 days, for repayment history information to be classified as a missed payment.

The varied CR code can be downloaded here.

ARCA to change Credit Reporting Late Payment Grace Period

In response to a request by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) has announced it will make an application to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner requesting the Credit Reporting Privacy Code (CR code) be varied so that the five day grace period for late payments recorded on a consumer’s credit report is extended to 14 days.

Currently clause 8.1 of the CR Code states that:
(a) consumer credit is overdue if, on the last day of the month to which the repayment history information relates, there was at least one overdue payment in relation […]

Responsible Manager seminar early bird rate ends next week

There is still time to register for our Responsible Manager seminars in May at the early-bird rate of $418; however, this rate will end on 5 April. From 6 April the fee will be $495.

Taking place in Sydney on 6 May and Brisbane on 13 May, the seminar will focus on the most important regulatory issues affecting responsible managers today including conduct risk, privacy and credit reporting.

Book now at the early-bird rate and save $77 on the full delegate rate.

FOS efficiency reviewed

The tension in EDR schemes between the members who pay for the scheme and consumers who use the scheme free of charge usually manifests itself in complaints by members about costs and delays.

The 2013 Independent Review of the Financial Ombudsman Service has now been released. This is the first review following the merger of 5 predecessor schemes into FOS.

It found FOS, an ASIC-approved EDR scheme, meets all of ASIC’s requirements, except in efficiency and timeliness.

The review recommended steps be taken to clear the current backlog and to become more efficient in the future.

It also recommended FOS review […]

By |March 25th, 2014|Consumer Credit, EDR|

Privacy Act amendments commence

Extensive amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 commenced on 12 March 2014 (see our previous articles here).

Comlaw has published a consolidated Privacy Act 1988 which incorporates the amendments, including the new Australian Privacy Principles and the new Part IIIA Credit Reporting provisions.

The following legislative instruments have also been published:

New COSL Rules about privacy-related complaints

The Credit Ombudsman Service (COSL) has amended its rules to deal with privacy-related complaints against its members.

Relevantly, the amendments include

  • The scheme may in its discretion decide that the financial services provider compensates the complainant for indirect or non-financial loss or damage, where the scheme is satisfied that the financial services provider has interfered with the complainant’s privacy or expectation of peace of mind.
  • The Credit Ombudsman can make an order requiring the financial services provider to do or to refrain from doing some act in relation to the subject matter of the complaint, and, in relation to […]

May CPD seminars now open for registration

We will be presenting half-day CPD seminars in Sydney (on 6 May) and Brisbane (on 13 May) for experienced managers needing to refresh and consolidate their knowledge as well as prospective managers and compliance officers.

If you have an Australian Financial Services Licence or an Australian Credit Licence minimum annual training for staff is a mandatory licence condition.

Responsible managers of Australian credit licensees must complete at least 20 hours of CPD each year.

Other representatives must complete between 10 and 30 hours CPD a year (with home loan assistance representatives being required to complete a minimum of 20 […]

Can early cheque clearance be unjust credit?

In Dunwoodie v Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd [2014] NSWCA 24 the NSW Court of Appeal concluded (by a 2-1 majority) that it was possible for general banking terms and conditions to be an unjust provision of credit under the NSW Contracts Review Act.

In ordering a hearing by the District Court, the Court of Appeal decided that the customer who was permitted to withdraw $60,000 by cashing an uncleared cheque (on an account which had insufficient funds) had an arguable defence to be considered under the Contracts Review Act 1980 (NSW) as to whether the contract pursuant to which […]