Concerns are raised by Consumer Groups that new credit reporting scheme will penalize people struggling with debt

Federal Government plans to force Australia’s big banks to give credit agencies more detailed information about customers’ financial behaviour could penalise the poor, consumer groups have warned.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will mandate the comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) regime for the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB) by 2018. Until now the system to provide extended “positive” information about banking customers has been voluntary.

Before the system, credit agencies only had access to fairly narrow and “negative” information such as defaults on loans and bankruptcy. The Treasurer has labelled the move a “game changer” for consumers and lenders, saying it will enable better borrowing capacity for customers.