The MFAA has listed its demands to the major political parties in the lead-up to next month’s Federal Election.
These include a call for the new Federal Government to launch an inquiry into the finance sector, with particular focus on the growing dominance of the major lenders – which the MFAA says is leading to the departure of small and innovative lenders from the market.
The recent, ‘ill-conceived’ ban on exit fees by the Gillard Government strengthened the major banks’ position and further damaged the position of the smaller non-bank lenders and mortgage managers, says the MFAA in its submissions to the major parties.
While the group also expresses its continued support for NCCP, the association is concerned that there ‘seems to be an undercurrent of more and more legislation to further regulate a now well-regulated’ sector.
“We are concerned that future attempts to regulate the providers (lenders) and recommenders (brokers) of finance for small business will simply make it more difficult for small businesses to access finance”, reads the submission.
The MFAA has formally sought an assurance from Liberal, Labor and Green parties that a new government ‘would not seek to regulate small business finance’, recently submitting to the Government that proposals to regulate investment and private lending be similarly shelved.
Any further amendments of NCCP to further regulate the industry should not be entertained until at least 2016, according to the MFAA.
The association also took aim at the further tightening on other ‘banned’ terms under NCCP, including the word ‘independent’, ‘impartial’, ‘unbiased’ and ‘free’, which is having unintended negative consequences for the industry.
“We believe that businesses are being unduly stultified in their operations and promotions by the extended-by-interpretation banning of the use of certain words under the NCCP”, says the MFAA.
“We will follow-up our submissions with each of the major parties during the election campaign, as we need to ensure that competition and economic growth is maintained and not suppressed under the new Government,” says MFAA CEO, Phil Naylor.