​Industry body releases privacy guidelines, Credit Reporting Code finalised

by Amy Rosenfeld24 Jan 2014
The MFAA has released guidelines for brokers to help with the transition to new privacy regulations as new credit reporting regulations are finalised.

The privacy guidelines were prepared for the industry association by Gadens Lawyers, who previously expressed disappointment at the lack of guidance provided by the government on the changes.

Jon Denovan, partner at Gadens Lawyers told Australian Broker many brokers were left in the dark about what the new laws, due to take effect in less than two months, will mean for them.

The guidelines outline the changes that will affect brokers and lenders, including preparing a written privacy policy and privacy compliance plan and adopting a new privacy consent.

The MFAA has provided example privacy consents for lenders, servicers, mortgage managers and brokers.

“There is a risk that privacy consents could be very long and complex in an attempt to deal with all the issues relating to privacy,” said Gadens.

“The MFAA’s focus has been to keep the consents as short as possible to encourage borrowers to read and understand what is happening while at the same time meeting all legal and commercial requirements.

“The new MFAA privacy consent for brokers contains an appointment of the broker as the borrower’s agent to obtain a credit report.  Increasingly brokers want to see a credit report to reduce rejection rates.”

For full details of the release by MFAA and Gadens, and to access example documents, click here.

Meanwhile, the Credit Reporting Code has now been released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

The Credit Reporting Code will replace the existing Credit Reporting Code of Conduct in its entirety and aims to clarify and supplement the obligations under Part IIIA of the privacy amendments and the Privacy Regulations 2013 as they relate to credit reporting participants.

A copy of the Credit Reporting Code can be accessed here.