The Australian Bankers’ Association’s (ABA) Code of Banking Practice reviewer has revealed that Malcolm Turnbull is the biggest road block to credit card reform because he has still refused to act and legislate to protect consumers with credit cards.
Whilst the Prime Minister was very quick to take credit for ANZ's decision to lower interests rates on some credit cards he's not so quick to deliver the credit card reforms he is actually responsible for.
Some 15 months after a Senate committee inquiry into credit cards made important recommendations to the Turnbull Government on how to improve customer outcomes the overwhelming majority have not been delivered.
Some 10 months after the Government released their own response to the Senate's report, including identifying priority areas for reform, not one of these has been delivered.
And today Phil Khoury says in his report that it is likely to be at least 18 months before any draft credit card reform legislation is ready, and further that;
“Competing priorities for Treasury and drafting resources and for Parliamentary time could mean that legislation will not be introduced into Parliament during the life of this Parliament.” Phil Khoury, Independent Review – Code of Banking Practice, page 72.
Both the Senate report and the Government’s response include important reforms to credit cards which would improve competition and consumer protections, improve disclosures to customers on fees and charges, tighten responsible lending obligations, and ban unfair interest charges.
For way too long banking customers have been ripped off when it comes to credit cards. Hidden charging, high interest rates, high annual fees, expensive rewards programs, exorbitant late payment fees and inappropriate lending practices have resulted in customers being slugged unfairly whilst the banks make millions in credit card profits.
Instead of taking credit for something he is not responsible for, how about the Prime Minister actually do something constructive and instruct his Ministers to get on with delivering the credit card reforms that the Government promised almost a year ago.
The banks have made it clear that they are reluctant to reform their credit card products until legislation is passed, so Malcolm Turnbull needs to get on and do his job instead of protecting the banks.
MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY, 2017