Consultation on draft mandatory comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) regulations has commenced and the senate committee has recommended the primary legislation (National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Bill) (CCR Bill) be passed. However, the senate report also recommended that the question of the treatment of customers in financial hardship, and how this should be reflected in their credit information, should be resolved as a matter of urgency.

The government is consulting on the exposure draft of the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Regulations 2018.The draft regulations propose to give effect to a number of provisions within the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Bill (CCR Bill) 2018.

Key Points

The draft regulations propose to:

  • Exclude certain types of accounts from being supplied within the mandatory regime.

  • Specify additional events which require ongoing reporting under the mandatory regime.

  • Place restrictions on credit reporting bodies from disclosing information they have received or derived through the mandated regime.

  • Specify the types of information that credit providers and credit reporting bodies must include in statements to the Treasurer.

  • Specify circumstances when the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can issue an infringement notice for a civil penalty.

Progress update of the CCR Bill

The National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Bill 2018 (CCR Bill) was introduced, following consultation into the House of Representatives on 28 March (see: Governance News 09/02/2018; 03/04/2018) and is yet to pass either house.

The Bill was referred to the Senate Standing Committee for Economics for report by 5 June. The majority view in the report is that the Bill be passed, but that the government should also consider 'expediting its review of financial hardship arrangements' given confusion among lenders regarding the treatment of customers in financial hardship, and how this should be reflected in their credit information.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said: 'Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting will ensure lenders have access to a deeper, richer set of data, encouraging new entrants and small lenders, including innovative FinTech firms, to compete for small business and retail customers with positive credit histories. It also ensures competition in the lending market is increased by reducing the credit data advantage held by the major banks'.

Timeframe: Delays expected?

  • Consultation on the draft regulations closes on 13 June.
  • The Treasurer has said that the Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting Bill (if enacted) will require the major banks to supply comprehensive credit information to credit reporting bodies from 1 July 2018.
  • According to The Australian, the Labor party have said they will seek to delay implementation of the Bill for twelve months, to enable this question to be resolved.

Protecting vulnerable elders: ABA has called for state and territory support for standardisation of power of attorney orders and other measures to enable bank staff to help detect and prevent elder financial abuse

Earlier this year, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) called on the Federal Government to implement changes to better enable bank staff to detect and act to prevent elder financial abuse (see: Governance News 26/02/2018). In this year's federal budget the government announced funding for a national online register and an intent to seek agreement from states and territories for a standardisation of power of attorney orders. Ahead of the COAG meeting, The ABA together with COTA Australia and National Seniors called on Attorney Generals to reach agreement on changes to empower bank staff to help detect and prevent elder financial abuse.