After five years of intense consultation with State and Federal Governments, the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) hailed today’s introduction of new national consumer credit laws into Federal Parliament.
MFAA CEO Phil Naylor said the new laws reflected the key issues the MFAA had raised on behalf of its members for efficient regulation and consumer protection.
“These laws demonstrate our commitment to MFAA members and borrowers; they ensure proper protection for consumers and the exclusion of rogue operators from the lending industry,” Mr Naylor said.
In its simplest form, the new laws will:
- introduce a licensing regime for credit providers,
- enforce responsible lending requirements, and
- streamline legislation across all states and territories.
“The MFAA welcomes these laws – laws we helped to shape – particularly the provision that allows flexibility in the way obligations are applied to licence holders according to the nature, scale and complexity of their operations,” he said.
“This is crucial; the vast majority of businesses covered by the legislation are one person or very small broking operations.
“We express concern, however, that the ‘responsible lending’ aspects of the bill will be delayed by 12 months, as MFAA members are already complying with these provisions.
“We will nevertheless continue to work with the government to ensure the efficient and fair operation of the legislation.
“This will be especially important in the detail of regulations and regulatory guidelines from ASIC yet to be published.
“We look forward to working closely with Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen to implement this new legislation.
“We would also like to thank the previous Minister, Senator Nick Sherry, who worked closely with us to develop these laws, and congratulate him on his new appointment as Assistant Treasurer.”
Mr Naylor said better regulation will only improve the broker channel, offering greater, world-class protection to consumers.
“The MFAA will continue to work with its members to prepare them for the new requirements, maintaining a high industry standard,” he said.