Slow Road to the Reformation of AU’s Banking and Financing Industries
It’s been 2 years since the Royal Commissioner Hayne submitted a report containing 76 recommendations of changes in the banking and financial services sectors. The changes are actually reforms that require legislation of laws to ensure that the culture of greed for profits, will no longer have precedence over the financial safety and wellbeing of Australian consumers.
The year-long hearings of the Royal Commission presided by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne unraveled billions of dollars worth of money stolen from consumers by way of unauthorized onerous charges and sale of millions of worthless products perpetuated through the participation of several banks and financial institutions.
Although it ended the careers of the board chairs and top executives of prominent Australian banks and financial companies like National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation and Australian Mutual Provident Society, just to name a few, little has been done to address the ill practices pervading in Australia’s financing systems.
While about a third of Commissioner Hayne’s recommendations are now supported with laws, most have been ignored and abandoned. Parliamentary action was supposed to have begun in 2020: but delays transpired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May of the said year, it was announced that legislations that would have addressed the problems that led to the financial scandals, will have to take a backseat. The parliament had to pass legislations for addressing the economic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that the country has moved on, consumer groups are calling attention to the slow progress of legislations that will put more teeth in Australia’s banking and credit laws. More so now that many of the country’s citizens are facing financial difficulties to which safe and affordable lending options are of utmost importance. Reports have it that there is currently a concerted effort by lobbyists of banking institutions to delay the implementation of Commissioner Hayne’s remaining recommendations.
According to Lenar Anderson, “most people think that the government has already addressed the problems in the banking and financing industries. Ms. Anderson, a consumer advocate who herself lost thousands of dollars resulting from unauthorized bank charges taken from her bank account said that the average Australian consumer thinks that the government has already instituted corrective solutions.
The general consensus among consumer groups is that many in the finance industry are still behaving badly.
Consumers are Advised to Enter Financing Deals Only with Licensed Dealers
Most of the malpractices discovered pertained to selling of products on finance, which were facilitated by retailers and dealers not licensed to offer credit facilities and car loans. Under Australia’s National Credit Policies, lenders and all those offering financing products and services are obligated to ensure that consumers entering into financing deals will not be put in conditions that will result in financial distress.
Inasmuch as finance brokers are likewise required to obtain an Australian Credit License when offering to broker financing deals on behalf of consumers, those looking to apply for a car loan should not readily agree to what car dealers are offering as financing facilities. To stay on the safe side, consumers should first determine other car loan options available to them.
National Loans Australia for one, has a free-to-use online Loan Pre-Approval tool at their website, https://nationalloans.com.au/car-loans/ . Those who would be interested to pursue plans of applying for a car loan as a means of buying a new car, would be better protected against unscrupulous lenders by taking on the financial services of National Loans Australia. This licensed team of financial experts gives assurance that they are committed to work in behalf and for the benefit of customers, and not in the interests of potential lenders