The National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009 (Bill) was introduced into Parliament today together with other consequential Bills which together comprise the National Consumer Credit Protection legislative package (Legislative Package).

The Legislative Package implements the Council of Australian Governments’ agreements to transfer responsibility for the regulation of consumer credit and related additional financial services to the Commonwealth.

The Bill provides that the responsible lending conduct obligations will now commence on 1 January 2011 rather than 1 January 2010, to allow industry time to implement systems and procedures required to comply with these obligations.

The timing for implementation of the national Australian credit licence regime remains unchanged. Those currently engaging in credit activities will need to apply for registration between 1 November 2009 and 31 December 2009 and will subsequently need to apply for an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) by 30 June 2010. From 1 January 2010, any person engaging in credit activities for the first time must apply for an ACL.

Some relief has been granted to credit providers from some of the duplicated obligations contained in the exposure drafts. Key relief includes that credit providers who deal only with their own proprietary credit contracts and consumer leases have been granted relief from the responsible lending provisions relating to the giving of credit assistance. Credit providers will still have to comply with the responsible lending provisions which apply to credit providers.