Australia ready to embrace new credit reporting regime


ARCA welcomes official registration of new Credit Reporting Privacy Code  

John McMillan

John McMillan

The Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) today welcomed the registration of the Credit Reporting Privacy Code (CR Code) by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

The registration of the CR Code by the national credit reporting regulator is the final piece of the legislative jigsaw before Australia’s new credit reporting regime comes into effect in March.

The final registration of the CR Code marks a significant milestone for ARCA, which was appointed by OAIC in December 2012 to draft the CR Code.

In registering the CR Code, Australian Information Commissioner John McMillan noted the considerable contribution made by ARCA to ensuring that the Code was ready in time for the commencement of the new regime on 12 March this year, working with a diverse range of stakeholders including the OAIC.

“ARCA Members invested significant time and resources throughout the code development process to provide the regulator with a code that protected the interests of consumers while balancing the needs of industry,” ARCA CEO Damian Paull said.

Credit reports of individuals are routinely requested by organisations when individuals apply for loans, mortgages, credit cards or even a mobile phone plan. Credit reports currently only feature negative information on individuals, such as defaults.

From March this year, consumers will have access to important new consumer rights in the credit reporting system that will help them take better control of their credit history, and lenders will gain access to new data that can help them make better lending decisions.

According to independent research commissioned by ARCA, 59 per cent of consumers had not heard of credit reporting and predominantly associated it around ‘negative’ aspects of their credit worthiness.

“These reforms will bring Australia into line with other OECD countries and will help empower consumers by improving awareness and engagement with their credit report – as is common in other countries,” Mr Paull said.

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