3 February 2021

Parliament passes laws to improve consumer access to credit


Joint media release with
The Hon Michael Sukkar MP
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing

Consumers and small business will have better access to finance following the passage through parliament of the Morrison Government’s reforms to the Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) Regime.

The strengthened regime will deliver benefits to lenders and borrowers and drive competition in the lending market while preserving and enhancing important security and consumer protections.

Australia’s largest banks will now be required to participate fully in the credit reporting system in order to provide more Australians with better access to credit. With a deeper, richer set of credit data, consumers will be able to demonstrate their credit worthiness and seek a better deal, while lenders will have greater opportunity to compete for customers with positive credit histories.

Consumers experiencing financial difficulty can now better demonstrate their credit worthiness through a more accurate reporting of their circumstances. A new category of credit information will also enable financial hardship information to be reported alongside repayment history. Lenders will only have access to this hardship information in situations where the consumer is seeking to access new credit, or the consumer agrees to the information being provided.

The scheme also offers consumers greater financial transparency and protections, following additional amendments made by the Government. Consumers will be able to access their credit files for free every three months. Credit reporting bodies will also be mandated to share a consumer’s credit score range, and an explanation of the input information that determines the credit score.

By improving transparency and access to data in the financial services sector, the Morrison Government continues to build a stronger and more competitive economy.