Senate Standing Economics References Committee Inquiry into Credit and Financial Services Targeted at Australians at Risk of Financial Hardship

Senate Standing Economics References Committee Inquiry into Credit and Financial Services Targeted at Australians at Risk of Financial Hardship

An Australian Senate Committee has released its report into lending practices that target people at risk of financial hardship. TasCOSS made a submission to this inquiry arguing for, amongst other things, more legal protections for consumers to ensure that lenders can only make contracts with borrowers who can demonstrate their ability to repay.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Raising the incomes of low income Australians so that people are not pushed towards pay day lending and other marginal credit products,
  • Strengthening the capacity of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to police the small and medium credit contract sector, and a review of the regulatory system governing the sector,
  • The government look into what regulatory framework is appropriate for the ‘buy now, pay later’ sector,
  • Increase funding to community and financial rights centres; and
  • The government introduce legislation, already drafted, to address issues with the small amount credit contract and consumer lease industry.