The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has introduced a no-action position, enabling banks to withhold the reporting of certain credit information on consumer credit reports where the reporting of such information could put a person at risk of harm, particularly where the person is a victim-survivor of domestic violence.
When a person is experiencing financial hardship, they can ask their bank for assistance. Such assistance can be in the form of reducing repayments or deferring payments. As of 1 July 2022, information about financial hardship arrangements will appear on credit reports and remains on the credit report for 12 months.
The introduction of the no-action position seeks to prevent further harm and provide protection to victim-survivors of domestic violence. It allows a bank to withhold credit reports or sections of credit reports relating to victim-survivors of domestic violence. For example, where a victim-survivor of domestic violence holds a loan jointly with their partner, the victim-survivor may not want their partner to know about any financial hardship they are experiencing. The new approach by ASIC allows banks to help the victim-survivor by withholding any information relating to financial hardship on any credit report.
At this stage, the no-action position is only temporary, pending further review as to whether this should be made a permanent policy decision.
This article was published on 04/10/22 and the information is valid only to the date of publishing. This article should be considered merely general and non-specific on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal, advice. Meehans Solicitors is not responsible in the event this information is relied upon by the reader in the absence of specific legal advice.