​Get your Act together, brokers

by Calida Smylie10 Mar 2014
You have two days to get ready for the Privacy Act changes, lenders say.

The big banks and other lenders are prompting brokers to get ready for the Privacy Act changes, which come in on Wednesday.

The key changes are the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles, a new credit reporting regime governing credit-related personal information and a new binding Credit Reporting Code issued under the Privacy Act.

As a result, there will be changes to the way lenders collect and manage personal information and credit information.

Many lenders, including AMP, ME Bank, Westpac, NAB and Pepper, have put out updated forms on their websites already and warn brokers to make sure the new templates are used as soon as possible and no later than Wednesday.

Forms include personal and company consent forms and privacy notifications.

Other updates include changes to bank credit reporting rules and new disclosure documents and letters, including application forms for home loans.

There are also enhanced enforcement provisions for failure to comply with the new legislation, backed by civil penalties of up to $1.7 million for companies and up to $340,000 for individuals.

Brokers will need to ensure their privacy consent has been updated to reflect the new law, warn lawyers.

“Brokers should also familiarise themselves with the new privacy principles to make sure they understand their obligations,” Gadens Lawyers senior associate Amy Ciolek said.

Ciolek said brokers should research the “high level impact” to their individual business and distribution structures, as well as educate themselves about any new obligations imposed by their lenders.

The Australian Privacy Principles dictate detailed disclosure of how companies collect, use, disclose, secure and correct personal information, and force companies to give individuals access to personal information unless a specific exception applies.


  • by Xavier 10/03/2014 9:03:37 AM

    As spokesman for the industry can you help and point your readers/brokers to these changes to help in updating their privacy consent, etc

  • by QEDRisk 10/03/2014 10:45:26 AM

    Xavier, this is all a storm in a teacup. Unless you are doing credit checks yourself, you do not need a privacy consent from your clients. Your existing privacy disclosure does not need changing on Wednesday.

    Just make sure you are using the latest forms from the banks to comply with THEIR requirements.

    If you need further assistance, call us on 1300 817 662.

  • by Positive Broker 10/03/2014 1:19:06 PM

    It will be fascinating to see how the lenders utilise the new reporting rules. Looks to me like they wont be any immediate impact.