The Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc. (CCLSWA) recently took the opportunity to provide submissions to the Senate Economics References Committee’s Inquiry into credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship (Senate Inquiry) with a focus on credit and financial services that largely escaped the scrutiny of the Banking Royal Commission.
CCLSWA’s submission received contributions and endorsement from the Financial Counselling Network and Financial Counsellors’ Association of Western Australia.
Our submission looks at how Western Australians are impacted by the operations of:
- payday lenders;
- consumer lease providers;
- unlicensed financial service providers (including buy now pay later schemes);
- debt management firms; and
- credit repair agencies.
In the submission, CCLSWA recommends adopting the reforms proposed in the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2018 for payday loans and consumer leases (the Bill). The Bill has been re-introduced twice since the government’s initial promises to introduce the legislation in 2017; and despite the lobbying efforts of CCLSWA and other consumer advocates, the Bill remains unpassed.
Our submission also draws attention to the:
- predatory, misleading and deceptive conduct of debt management firms;
- issues for clients seeking recourse against unlicensed financial services providers; and
- the need for increased funding to the financial counselling sector through an industry levy.
To read our full submission, click here.