BIIA member Veda urged the Federal Government to act swiftly to finalise new credit reporting legislation after a Senate Committee Report supported provisions of a draft exposure bill.  Proposals for credit reporting reform were first recommended in 2008 by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC).

Matthew Strassberg, Senior Advisor of External Relations at Veda, said: “There is a risk the world is on the edge of a second economic downturn. These reforms will protect Australia’s economic interests at a time of increasing uncertainty.  Two years ago the Minister for Privacy, Brendan O’Connor, announced a timetable to ensure the passage of credit reporting reforms by mid-2012.  We support that timetable. Given the growing uncertainty on financial markets and the possibility of another global recession, this legislation must be given priority.”

Australia currently has a negative reporting system, which relies upon a limited amount of information to assess a person’s ability to make payments and take on new credit. This data includes defaults over the past five years, bankruptcies and the number of credit applications made.  In contrast, a comprehensive or positive system, will provide better information concerning a person’s credit behaviour, including their current credit limits and their ability to meet the minimum payment on a credit card or loan on time.

Source: Veda Australia