Mortgage advisers closely watching CCCFA enquiry

Mortgage advisers are pleased the Government has requested an enquiry into the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) but insist it must be robust and look closely at the wording and intent of the Act itself.

The enquiry was ordered on Friday by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark.

It followed a storm of protest that legitimate borrowers with a good credit record were losing access to money they were previously able to borrow.

This was because the fine details of their daily expenditure such as takeaway food were turning up in their bank statements and causing banks to either fail them, or reduce their borrowing capacity.

Clark has now called for an investigation by the Council of Financial Regulators (COFR).

This organisation is made up of the Reserve Bank, Treasury, the Financial Markets Authority, MBIE and the Commerce Commission.

Glen McLeod (pictured) of Edge Mortgages in Albany wants this enquiry to proceed fast.

“It's good that the Minister has called for an enquiry, but the CCCFA has already wreaked so much havoc that it should not just meander along, it needs to be addressed very quickly,” he said.

“This is affecting people's lives and if (the enquiry) is just going to be a cursory glance at it, then that is not going to cut it.”

In his statement, Clark questioned whether the banks are implementing the law as it was intended.

But McLeod thinks that is missing the point. He thinks banks are implementing the legislation to the letter of the law, because they are scared of the consequences if they get it wrong.

“This is affecting people's lives and if (the enquiry) is just going to be a cursory glance at it, then that is not going to cut it.”“They are the ones who are going to be taking the high jump.....if they are doing something wrong that is because the legislation itself is not good enough.”

Another man who is keeping a close eye on this is John Bolton of Squirrel, and he is concerned about the time frame for the enquiry.

He is also maintaining his petition against the law, though he has changed its format from a to a parliamentary petition, which will actually be formally presented to politicians. He also wants the enquiry to move fast.

“The reality is that this is affecting people now.”

At this stage, it is unclear how intensive this enquiry will be. Government investigations in the past have varied in scale from a Royal Commission down to some public servants writing a few paragraphs for a Minister.

TMMO has sought further clarification as to just what grade of investigation this one will be.

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