ASIC’s 2019 public hearings on responsible lending and updates to RG 209
The hearings were held over two days in Sydney and Melbourne.
MELBOURNE – 19 August 2019
Stamford Plaza Hotel Melbourne, Balmoral Room, 111 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
SYDNEY – 12 August 2019
Wesley Conference Centre, Lyceum Room, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney
Purpose of the hearings
ASIC has power under both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) and National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (the National Credit Act) to convene public hearings for the purpose of performing or exercising its functions and powers. ASIC’s functions include providing guidance on the requirements of the laws it administers – including the responsible lending obligations in Chapter 3 of the National Credit Act.
ASIC decided to use its hearing power to help it develop its regulatory guidance on responsible lending obligations. The application of these obligations is critical to the making of appropriate credit decisions, and our guidance on these obligations is a matter of significant public interest.
We considered public hearings would provide a useful and transparent way to robustly test with selected participants some of the main issues and views raised in the written submissions in response to Consultation Paper 309 Update to RG 209: Credit licensing: Responsible lending conduct (CP 309).
On 25 September 2020, the Government announced proposed reforms to the responsible lending obligations contained in Ch 3 of the National Credit Act. The proposed reforms will amend the obligations that apply before entry into a credit product or the provision of credit assistance. ASIC’s guidance relating to the current responsible lending obligations will be reviewed and updated when the proposed reforms are finalised.
Who participated in the public hearings?
ASIC received 72 submissions in response to CP 309. We selected from the submissions some parties that we considered would be able to provide additional views and perspectives on key issues that were raised across a range of industry and consumer stakeholders.
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Bank of Queensland
- Athena Home Loans
- Financial Rights Legal Centre
- illion Open Data Solutions
- Tic:Toc Online
- Australian Retail Credit Association
- Westpac Banking Corporation
- Consumer Action Legal Centre
- Consumer Credit Legal Services (WA)
- The Melbourne Institute
- LIXI Limited
- Mortgage Choice
- Australian Finance Group
- Australian Financial Complaints Authority
- Auscred Ltd (Lendi)
- National Australia Bank
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
The conduct of the hearings
The hearings were conducted by Deputy Chair Karen Chester and Commissioner Sean Hughes.
The public hearings were open to the public and all interested parties and observers to attend. Reporting of the evidence provided was encouraged.
Only invited participants were permitted to speak on record at the hearings.
Participants were not compelled to attend the hearing. The hearings were conducted with as little formality as possible. Participants were invited to introduce themselves and make an opening statement if they wished.
ASIC required participants to be truthful in their remarks: a person who appears at the hearing must not give information that is false or misleading in a material particular (section 291 of the National Credit Act).