The elephant in the court room

On 4 September 2018, ASIC announced that it had agreed with Westpac to settle its court action against Westpac for alleged breaches of responsible lending obligations. The proposed settlement included a record civil penalty of $35 million to be paid by Westpac. ASIC and Westpac then asked the court to …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update October 2018

We’ve just published our latest quarterly update for the third quarter of 2018, which you can download from our website here. The Hayne Royal Commission has handed down its interim report, identifying many issues but also questioning whether passing new laws is the solution. In the meantime, new laws and proposed …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update July 2018

We’ve just published our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for July 2018, and you can download a free copy from here. We look at all of the main legal developments over the last three months. There is an in-depth article on the review of the Commonwealth Bank commissioned by …

First credit card reform starts 1 July

From 1 July 2018, it will be illegal for a credit provider to make an invitation to increase the credit limit for a credit card contract, even if the customer has given informed consent to receive invitations. This is the first of four credit card reforms that were legislated in …

How the Productivity Commission wants to shake up competition in the financial system

With all the news about the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, we should not overlook an inquiry by another commission into the financial system, also announced last year, which has already proposed big changes. Background On 8 May 2017, the Treasurer asked the …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update – April 2018

We’ve just published our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for the first quarter of 2018, which you can download here. The Royal Commission is getting a lot of news, but there is plenty more happening. New controls on credit cards have been legislated, with some coming into effect …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update – January 2018

North Sydney business lawyers

Welcome to 2018. 2017 ended with a bang, in the form of a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industries announced on 30 November. You’ll find an overview of the Royal Commission and other developments in the last quarter of 2017 in our latest Financial …

Open Banking for Australia: hand over your data

The Federal Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget that it would introduce an “Open Banking” regime in Australia. Under Open Banking, banks will have to share product and customer data with customers and third parties, if the customer gives consent. There is already plenty of sharing of bank data. Accounting software such …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update October 2017

Our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for the third quarter of 2017 can be downloaded here. In the last 3 months, APRA has been much in the news: draft legislation for the APRA-administered BEAR has now been released; APRA is consulting on a new regime to make it easier to become …

ASIC flexes its power to ban flex commissions

ASIC is banning “flex commissions” from 1 November 2018. In basic terms, a flex commission is where the amount of commission depends on the interest rate charged to the consumer: the higher the return for the credit provider, the more the introducer is paid in commission. Details of the ban …

More credit card regulation on the way

The next round of changes to consumer credit laws is coming, with the release of draft legislation on credit card reforms. Treasury unveiled a package of documents on 14 August 2017 including a draft Bill, draft regulations and explanatory materials. The key reforms introduced by the draft Bill are: tightening responsible lending …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update July 2017

Our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for the second quarter of 2017 can be downloaded here. In the last three months there have been a number of important announcements in the Federal Budget affecting the financial services sector. These include: the new big bank levy, which is also …

Self-reporting of significant breaches for credit licensees proposed

Australian credit licence (ACL) holders will have to self-report significant actual or likely breaches of their licence obligations if a proposal by the taskforce conducting a Review of ASIC Enforcement (Taskforce) is adopted. One of the responsibilities of the Taskforce is to look at the adequacy of the framework for …

4 reasons why you should now consider a responsible lending compliance review

North Sydney business lawyers

Credit assessment is no longer just about managing credit risk: it’s also a compliance obligation. Responsible lending under the credit legislation requires credit licensees to: make reasonable inquiries about the consumer’s requirements and objectives and financial situation; take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation; make an assessment whether …

A reversal of fortune for reverse mortgages?

The cost of the age pension keeps growing, but so does the value of housing assets. Could this lead to more demand for products like reverse mortgages that let seniors access the value of their homes? Pension costs rising The population is getting older and people are living longer, which …

Could lending to small business end up like consumer lending?

NCCPA NCCP consumer credit ACL credit licensing lawyers experts

These days, small businesses are often seen by governments as a vulnerable class like consumers who need to be protected by regulation. Assistance to small business has been a priority for the Coalition Federal Government. It has gone so far as to create a taxpayer funded advocate for small business …