The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is thinking about granting authorisation to the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia’s disciplinary rules to help with enforcement and public confidence in the mortgage industry.
ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for five years to MFAA’s disciplinary rules, including the constitution and code of practice that outlines the requirements and professional standards expected of members.
Since the ACCC last authorised the disciplinary rules in 2009, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act started in 2010.
“The MFAA's membership requirements impose higher educational and professional standards on its members than required under the NCCPA,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
Authorising the rules would help MFAA enforce the standards and would likely improve consumer confidence and protection in the mortgage and broking industries, ACCC said.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
MFAA welcomed the draft determination of the disciplinary regime, which outlines the process for investigating complaints, expulsion of members and hearing appeals against refused applications for membership or accreditation.
“The MFAA disciplinary process has now been in operation for over 10 years with the authorisation of the ACCC, which recognises the benefits to the community of our high membership standards and the role they play protecting consumers in the mortgage and finance market,” CEO Phil Naylor said.
“The National Consumer Credit Protection Act, enforced by ASIC, has gone a long way to tighten up the mortgage and finance industry’s standards. That is why as an industry body we enforce strict rules on our members to ensure they deliver the best possible service and customer protection.”
ACCC is now seeking submissions on the draft determination.
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