Article from the Sydney Morning Herald on regulatory changes in Australia
Lenders given reform choices
March 30, 2010
The federal government has flagged measures to weed out dodgy lenders before new consumer credit laws come into force.
Credit providers will have to be licensed if they want to draw up loan contracts after July 1.
They have until the end of June to register their old and new loans with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Lenders that do not wish to apply for an Australian credit licence, or offer new contracts after July 1, would need to notify ASIC of their intentions, under a government plan.
They would agree to give a statement or an audit report to ASIC, shun conflicts of interest and act honestly as part of a statutory scheme.
Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said on Tuesday the transition arrangements for existing loans were likely to come into effect in May.
Affected parties have until April 9 to express their concerns.
The Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia, which has 12,000 members mainly in the home loan broking sector, is supportive of the transition arrangements.
But chief executive Phil Naylor said he would seek clarification from the government about some aspects of the proposals.
National Consumer Credit Protection Legislation was passed by the Senate in October.
The legislation requires lenders and mortgage brokers to meet training requirements and meet enhanced standards of conduct as a prerequisite for a licence.