Simplifying Access to Credit for Consumers and Small Businesses

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

SIMPLIFYING ACCESS TO CREDIT FOR CONSUMERS AND SMALL BUSINESS

 

25 September 2020

 

The Morrison Government has today announced that we are simplifying Australia’s credit framework to ensure consumers and small businesses can get timely access to credit.

Now more than ever as we recover from COVID-19, it is critical that unnecessary barriers to accessing credit are removed so that consumers can continue to spend and businesses can invest and create jobs.

Through a suite of changes to Australian credit laws, the Morrison Government will enable the more efficient flow of credit to consumers and small businesses while maintaining strong consumer protections.

Improving the flow of credit is a key element of the Morrison Government’s JobMaker plan, supporting business investment and creating jobs to build a stronger, more resilient and more competitive economy.

Key elements of the reforms include:

  • Allowing lenders to rely on the information provided by borrowers, replacing the current practice of ‘lender beware’ with a ‘borrower responsibility’ principle
  • Protecting consumers from the predatory practices of debt management firms by requiring them to hold an Australian Credit Licence when they are paid to represent consumers in disputes with financial institutions
  • Removing the excessive responsible lending obligations from the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, with the exception of small amount credit contracts and consumer leases where heightened obligations will be introduced;
  • Ensuring that authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) will continue to comply with APRA’s lending standards requiring sound credit assessment and approval criteria
  • Adopting key elements of APRA’s ADI lending standards and applying them to non-ADIs
  • Removing the ambiguity regarding the application of consumer lending laws to small business lending.

These changes will make it easier for the majority of Australians and small businesses to access credit, reduce red tape, improve competition, and ensure that the strongest consumer protections are targeted at the most vulnerable Australians.


QUICK LINKS ON JOBKEEPER EXTENSION AND INFORMATION

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a range of information available to help the community understand the JobKeeper Payment and the new extension.

Please see the links below to the latest information on JobKeeper.

  1. The JobKeeper key dates page provides a useful summary of the what actions businesses should take and when they need to do them.
  2. The JobKeeper extension page provides a summary of the recent changes. The page also contains a useful fact sheet covering the changes.
  3. The JobKeeper guides page shows the steps on how to enrol, continue receiving JobKeeper extension payments or stop receiving payments. The page also contains a useful fact sheet that covers this information.
  4. The JobKeeper home page includes a video outlining the basics of the scheme and also links to a wide range of information for the community.
  5. Finally our JobKeeper Payment – information in other languages page may be of assistance to a range of people in your community.
  6. Information specific to COVID-19 support measures for businesses and employers and for individuals and employees as part of the Government’s economic support package is also available.

Regards

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia