Banks demand to know what you owe

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) Chief Executive, David Bell, and ABA Director of Retail Regulatory Policy, Ian Gilbert, yesterday told the Senate Economics Committee that if the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009 will include responsible lending obligations, then more comprehensive credit reporting must be put in place at the same time.

“The credit file does not list how much debt the customer has outstanding or the credit limit the customer has secured from other providers,” said Mr Bell. “Comprehensive credit reporting would provide the option to access the credit limits. Disclosure of the credit balance would give the credit provider more information about the customer’s current level of commitment.”

In 2008, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) recommended that the current credit reporting regulation should be expanded to include: type of credit account opened, date opened, current limit of each account opened, date closed and whether over a 24 month period the debtor was meeting the repayment obligations and, if not, the number of repayment cycles in arrears.

Source: Australian Bankers Association