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The Royal Commission and How It Affects You

Many people are getting satisfaction watching the banks and other lenders get dragged over the coals. But what many don’t realise is that the Royal Commission will likely impact you too.

While the Royal Commission has been nothing but positive for the financial services industry, we haven’t seen too much written about how all of this will impact the end-customer (i.e. you). Reformed lending processes and procedures will likely test your patience as you’ll be asked more probing questions by lenders. Banks might even tighten their screws on certain types of lending.

To understand why things may get a little more difficult, here’s a quick “crash course” on the responsible lending obligations of lenders.

Responsible Lending

Any credit licensee engaged in consumer lending needs to comply with responsible lending as set out in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009. In laymen’s terms, lenders need to ensure that they do not lend to a customer if the loan is unsuitable.

In order to meet responsible lending obligations, three steps must be undertaken for the lender to be compliant:

1. Make reasonable enquiries about the consumer’s financial situation, and their requirements and objectives;

2. Take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation; and

3. Make a preliminary assessment (if providing credit assistance) or final assessment (if you are the credit provider) about whether the credit contract is ‘not suitable’ for the consumer. This is based on the enquiries and information obtained in the first two steps.

Now, if you have applied for a personal loan in the past you may be familiar with the loan application process. Lenders will conduct certain checks on your income and expenses and get your agreement on certain conditions. This is done in part to fulfil responsible lending requirements.

Since the Global Financial Crisis responsible lending criteria has tightened considerably to reduce irresponsible lending. APRA and ASIC are demanding lenders constantly review their lending policies to make sure they aren’t putting consumers at risk.

Post the GFC, the Royal Commission is the latest major event to reform lending policy and procedures in Australia.

How Will The Royal Commission Affect You?

Simple answer – loan applications may take longer. In an age where customers expect immediacy and instant gratification, the Royal Commission will likely create more prudent loan processes and procedures. This may test your patience as lenders will have more questions to ask.

So What Are We Doing About It?

Handy applies the latest technology throughout its application process to solve logistical problems such as the above. This also allows us to provide a frictionless user experience. A good example of how we streamline the application process is that we directly pull applicant’s bank statements from their bank account via a secure online portal. Too easy. This makes income verification quick and simple.

Approvals are subject to Handy’s credit criteria and responsible lending requirements. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply. Finance provided to approved applicants by OurMoneyMarket Lending Pty Ltd ABN 64 605 231 669, trading as ‘Handy’ holds Australian Credit Licence number 488228 and is a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, we recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. We recommend you obtain independent advice before acting on any information in this article.