Financial abuse prevention
11 July 2022
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has welcomed a decision by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to provide a ‘no action position’ to enable banks to withhold credit reporting information where reporting that information could lead to customer harm.
The no action relief from the corporate regulator, which came into effect on Friday 8th July is an important part of the financial sector’s work to reduce financial abuse and support victim-survivors of family violence.
A common-sense decision
ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said the decision for ASIC to not take regulatory action if a credit provider does not meet what were, up until now, required credit reporting rules, was a common-sense decision and achieved through close consultation.
“Australian banks are aware of the potential effect of credit reporting on a customer’s ability to re-establish financial independence,” Anna Bligh said today.
“As part of their work, banks understand that sharing credit reporting information with a perpetrator can potentially put the victim-survivor at risk.
“This obligation will now not be required if a person is the victim of family violence, and this violence was perpetrated by other joint debtors on a loan where hardship supports for the victim may be in place.
“ABA welcomes ASIC’s decision to reduce these risks and make the credit reporting regime fairer and safer for customers at risk of family violence or financial abuse.
“This outcome will go a long way to alleviating unnecessary distress for impacted customers.”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
This temporary measure will remain effective as the ABA and member banks continue to work with the regulator, family violence prevention experts and consumer representatives to progress further and wider potential reforms across this policy area over the longer term.
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