In a statement released by the Australian Banking Association (ABA), it was announced that Australia’s major banks will exclude from the new comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) regime any customers that have reached an agreement on hardship arrangements with their bank.
The new CCR regime will require banks to report the credit history of 50 per cent of their customers by the end of September 2018.
The agreement will last for the first 12 months of the regime, subject to a review from the Attorney-General.
According to ABA CEO Anna Bligh, the agreement would help ensure all customers are treated fairly.
“Australia’s banks have been working closely with the federal government and other stakeholders to ensure we get this major reform right, without unfairly treating some customers, and implemented without delay,” Ms Bligh said.
“Australia’s banks are fully behind this new regime and see the great benefit it can bring in helping customers quickly and easily get a great deal on their personal loans, home loans and credits cards.”
Ms Bligh added: “As with all major reforms in banking, it’s important we don’t leave people behind.
“Those who have experienced hardship through no fault of their own such as losing a job, sickness, natural disasters or relationship breakdown need to be protected in this new regime.
“Unexpected events happen in life, which banks understand; therefore, it’s important that we can discreetly show this on credit histories to make sure customers don’t have further difficulty in the future.”
The ABA CEO also stressed the importance of the new CCR regime.
“Currently, if you have a great credit history, the only organisation who knows this is your bank,” the CEO said.
“This new regime takes that powerful information and places it into the hands of customers who can ensure they get the best deal possible from a financial institution.”
ABA appoints new deputy chair
The ABA has also announced the appointment of Suncorp CEO David Carter to the role of deputy chair.
Commenting on his appointment, ABA chairman and ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott said: “The ABA warmly welcomes Mr David Carter to the new role of deputy chair. David will bring a wealth of experience to the role.
“With more than 25 years’ experience in banking, wealth management and life insurance, he is well qualified to perform this important leadership and advocacy role on behalf of the industry.”
Mr Carter replaces Mike Hirst, who announced his retirement as managing director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in March.
Mr Elliott thanked Mr Hirst for his service to the ABA.
“His energy and commitment to the industry and his outstanding leadership during a challenging time has been thoroughly valued by all member banks,” Mr Elliott said.
“During his time as deputy chairman, Mike has played an incredibly important role through advocacy not just on behalf of regional banks but also through stewardship on behalf of all ABA members.
“Mike was instrumental in developing important industry reform initiatives such as the Better Banking Reform Program, which included a complete rewrite of the [Code of Banking Practice].
“There is no doubt his wise counsel and guidance will be missed by all ABA member banks.”
[Related: Consultation opens on CCR]