Australian banks are being targeted in the first serious test of nascent consumer protections under NCCP, with a mass class action being readied by lawyers and distressed borrowers.
As revealed by Fairfax newspapers, the class action, which could involve as many as 300,000 struggling bank customers, will allege that bank lending practices have put their customers at risk.
The class action, which is only in its initial stages, will be built around first home buyers and lower income households who have received loans since the onset of the financial crisis.
It will allege that some of these borrowers are experiencing severe financial hardship through no fault of their own, through being allowed to enter a loan contract that they could not afford.
The case is being spearheaded by retired international insurance broker Roger Brown, according to Fairfax, who has been quoted as saying the way banks have been lending has been "irresponsible".
Fairfax reports the class action will focus on the post-GFC period, when low interest rates and the first homeowners grant lured a higher proportion of first homebuyers into the market.