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A better financial deal for hard working Australians.
â¢ A better financial deal for hard working Australians
Chris Bowen,Julia Gillard,Wayne Swan posted Sunday, 15 August 2010
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, Chris Bowen, today outlined Labor’s Fairer, Simpler Banking policy to help give hard working Australians a better deal when it comes to credit cards. Federal Labor is serious when it comes to making sure the banking system is fair and simple, and works for all Australian consumers. Our objectives are clear - we want a credit card market that is transparent, competes hard for the consumer dollar, and has builtâin protections to help stop Australians falling into a credit card debt trap. Federal Labor recognises the cost of living pressures that credit card debt can place on Australian families, and will help make sure consumers are not caught out by the fine print. Giving Australians a better deal on credit card fees and charges - Labor’s reforms will mean: â¢ Overâlimit fees cannot be charged unless consumers specifically agree that their account can go over the limit. â¢ Credit card providers will have to allocate repayments to higher interest debts first. â¢ Interest charges will be applied consistently under an industryâagreed standard, including when interest starts to accrue and on what balances. Giving Australians more say over credit card products - Labor’s reforms will mean: â¢ Unsolicited credit limit extension offers will not be able to be made unless the consumer has agreed to the service. â¢ Consumers will have more say in setting their own credit limits, subject to responsible lending obligations. Making it easier to understand credit card products - Labor’s reforms will mean: â¢ Credit card application forms will have to include a clear summary of key account features. â¢ Credit card providers will have to inform consumers about the implications of only paying minimum repayment amounts on their statements. A reâelected Gillard Labor Government will work closely with Australia’s financial institutions and consumer groups to implement these measures.
These critical reforms represent another important step in Federal Labor’s broad agenda to ensure the banking system works for Australian families, not against them. We’ve already brought in a package of measures to help smaller lenders compete with the big banks - ensuring competition in the banking sector helps put downward pressure on interest rates for borrowers. We’re helping smaller lenders fund their home loans by investing $16 billion in highâquality, TripleâA rated Residential MortgageâBacked Securities, as well as implementing tax reforms designed to boost their deposit funding and their ability to source funds cheaper from overseas. And we’re cracking down on unfair mortgage exit fees to help consumers get a better deal. Labor has a proud record of reform of consumer credit regulation and has already put in place a single, national credit law with enhanced consumer protections. We have also put in place new national responsible lending obligations to protect consumers by requiring all lenders to lend responsibly through ensuring that the credit they provide is not unsuitable to the consumer and that the consumer has the capacity to repay. Federal Labor’s Fairer, Simpler Banking policy initiatives do not involve any budgetary costs.
For more information visit â Fairer Simpler Banking
Tags: Banking, Banks, Finance, Services