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10-121AD ASIC releases information sheets to aid compliance with new National Consumer Credit regime

Friday 11 June 2010


ASIC has recently published a package of new information sheets containing frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the new National Consumer Credit Protection regime to help lenders, brokers and intermediaries comply with the new requirements.

ASIC has also published two additional information sheets about fees associated with the cost of a credit licence, in preparation for the commencement of the licensing period from 1 July 2010, and frequently asked questions on the operation of some offences under the National Credit Act, including prohibited dealings with unlicensed persons; and unlawful authorisation of credit representatives.

The information is contained in:

ASIC has produced these guides to help people access the information they need easily and efficiently. We want to ensure people can comply with their new requirements with as much ease as possible, and make a seamless transition to the new regime.

The information sheets respond to questions that have arisen during our extensive consultation and engagement with industry including through our national roadshows. They cover practical issues involved in the licence application process and ongoing compliance issues

We have made this information available on our website so that current registered persons and prospective licenses can quickly check the answer to a question and then get on with their preparations.

Some of the questions covered include things like, ’What are the organisational competence and training requirements?’, ‘Are debt collectors or pawn brokers captured?’, ‘What public registers will ASIC maintain?’, and ‘What does the compliance plan need to cover?’.

The publication of these FAQs adds to the program of materials available to support people register and obtain an Australian credit licence.

The information sheets are part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to assist industry comply with their new obligations, including:

Since registration opened for all those entities and individuals intending to engage in credit activities after 1 July 2010, ASIC has received over 10,000 registrations.

We have been pleased with the response and are now preparing for the next phase of the implementation of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act), that is, the licensing phase.

We urge anyone who is yet to register that they must do so before 30 June 2010, and ideally, by 18 June 2010, to ensure they can continue offering credit activities after 1 July 2010. After 18 June 2010, there is a risk that we won’t be able to make a decision on an application by the end of the registration period.

For those that are yet to register, more information is available from the ASIC Credit website at www.asic.gov.au.

The licensing process commences on 1 July 2010. Registered persons’ and prospective licensees who are yet to register must apply for a credit licence between 1 July 2010 and 31 December 2010, or become a representative of a registered person or a credit licensee if they wish to continue engaging in credit activities beyond 31 December 2010.


Background


On Monday, 26 October 2009, the Senate passed the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill. Under the legislation, ASIC has been appointed the national regulator for consumer credit and finance broking, taking over from the states and territories. This means that home loans, personal loans, credit cards, consumer leases, pre-arranged overdrafts and line of credit accounts, among other products and services, will be regulated under Commonwealth legislation administered by ASIC.

For more information about the National Consumer Credit Protection regime go to www.asic.gov.au/credit.


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