Anglicare Australia is urging Parliament to keep Australia’s responsible lending laws. The call comes as a new report predicts dire consequences if the laws are axed.
“Just two years ago, the Banking Royal Commission said the Government should keep its safe lending laws and make them stronger,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers. “Instead the Government is axing them and turning its back on the Royal Commission.
“Across the country, our financial counsellors have seen what happens when people are preyed on by banks and other lenders. They can get caught in debt spirals that last for years.
“These laws were brought in to stop that from happening. They are protecting people from debts that they can’t afford.
“This latest report backs that up. Almost all of the counsellors surveyed by Financial Counselling Australia say they use the laws to help their clients who have been trapped in debts – and they are predicting a huge surge in cases if the laws are axed.”
Ms Chambers said that people have never been more vulnerable to bad lending tactics.
“People are still recovering from the pandemic. Many have lost hours and shifts at work. Others have lost their jobs altogether.
“The last thing they need is to be saddled with debts they can’t afford. Sadly, we know that the people who can least afford it are the most likely to fall victim to these debts.
“The Royal Commission already showed that some lenders knowingly prey on people. Getting rid of these laws will only make that easier.
“At a time of crisis, the Government should be protecting people most in need – not hurting them.”