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BFCSA investigates fraud involving lenders, spruikers and financial planners worldwide.  Full Doc, Low Doc, No Doc loans, Lines of Credit and Buffer loans appear to be normal profit making financial products, however, these loans are set to implode within seven years.  For the past two decades, Ms Brailey, President of BFCSA (Inc), has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income people around the Globe who have fallen victim to banking and finance scams.  She has found that people of all ages are being targeted by Bankers offering faulty lending products. BFCSA warn that anyone who has signed up for one of these financial products, is in grave danger of losing their home.

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BFCSA: Banks push to close credit union, payday lender 'loophole' That's Rich

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Banks push to close credit union, payday lender 'loophole'

Sydney Morning Herald 7 September 2018 12:05am

Clancy Yeates

 

Banks are calling for a "loophole" in consumer protections to be closed, saying all lenders should be required to meet new minimum behaviour standards when dealing with customers.

Such a change would require all credit businesses, including credit unions, building societies, and payday lenders to meet the same criteria as banks have committed to under the industry's revamped code of conduct.

Consumer advocates and small business ombudsman Kate Carnell backed the broad principle of customers having the same rights when dealing with different types of lenders, but did not go as far as endorsing sector-wide adoption of the Australian Banking Association (ABA) code of code of practice.

The call for change was made in a recent submission from the ABA to the royal commission, in response to its round of hearings relating to small business lending.

The submission, which has not been made public, argued there was a gap in the current arrangements, which created uncertainty for consumers about the protections available to them.

Ms Carnell said there was benefit in consumers or small business owners being subject to similar protections to those included in the banking industry's updated code of conduct - though she did not endorse sector-wide application of the ABA code.

"It would be wrong for us to say that we think the ABA code is the gold standard - we don't. But we think it's a real step in the right direction," Ms Carnell said.

"From a consumer or small business perspective, who you borrow money from shouldn't influence your rights."

The ABA's new code will include a range of changes, including requiring banks to alert customers when their interest-free period on a credit card is about to end, and forcing banks to give small businesses more notice when they decide not to roll over a loan.

Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh said customers should be protected irrespective of the type of institution they banked with.

“Other lenders are offering similar products however the standards are not the same, which creates both confusion for customers and a loophole in protections," Ms Bligh said.

“This common standard for customers could be achieved by making membership of an ASIC approved code, such as the ABA code, a requirement of a licence."

Senior policy officer at the Consumer Action Law Centre, Katherine Temple, backed greater consistency in the obligations on different types of lenders, but said the key to a code of conduct was that it was properly enforced.

"As a general position, we support having consistent standards across the sector," Ms Temple said.

"We certainly support efforts by industry to improve. The important thing is that there is proper monitoring and enforcement of the code."

The chief executive of Customer Owned Banking Association, Michael Lawrence, said the group would look at the ABA's code when it reviewed its own industry's code of practice. But he said it would not adopt the ABA's code in its entirety because its members were fundamentally different.

"Our customers own their organisations, not shareholders.," he said. "Our members make profits, but they are not about maximising profits."

The debate over the industry's codes of conduct comes as banks are preparing for a wave of potential recommendations from the royal commisison's interim report, due with the government at the end of this month.

According to reports, Westpac has considered selling off its in-house financial planning business as one potential course of action if the royal commission calls for the break-up of banks' wealth arms.

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