Australian credit licensing

The draft National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009 creates the Australian Credit License (ACL).

All banks, credit unions, finance companies and other lenders, known in the Bill as credit providers, and all credit advisers and mortgage and credit brokers, known as credit service providers will be required to hold an ACL.

Existing lenders must apply for registration between 1 November 2009 and 31 December 2009. All persons engaging in credit activities must be registered to continue operating after this date.

They will then have six months to apply for an Australian Credit Licence, between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2010.

All persons who engage in credit activities for the first time on or after 1 January 2010 must apply for and receive an Australian Credit Licence before commencing business.

All registered persons must have applied for their Australian Credit Licence by 1 July 2010.

The ACL regime will be supervised by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and will replace existing state regulation.

ASIC will be given the power to cancel or suspend a licence or ban people from engaging in credit activities

“Fast-tracking” will not be offered to existing lenders.

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