Under new government regulations certain debt management services are now prescribed as a type of credit activity for the purposes of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
As a result, from 1 July 2021 providers of debt management services must hold an Australian credit licence or, under transitional arrangements, have applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for an Australian credit licence by 30 June 2021. To ensure compliance with these regulations, they must also be a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) external dispute resolution scheme by 30 June 2021.
AFCA can accept consumer complaints against financial firms who are members of its scheme, subject to its Rules and jurisdiction.
AFCA has been working closely with ASIC, which administers and oversees credit licensing requirements and the National Consumer Credit Act.
- You can read ASIC’s media release about this change and access its resources for debt management firms.
- Access the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Debt Management Services) Regulations 2021 here.
- If you wish to ascertain whether a firm is a member of AFCA you can search by name here.
We will provide further updates on this change in due course.
Published: 30 June 2021
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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.