Supporting small business and responsible lending
The Budget confirmed that the Government will implement reforms to support consumers and businesses affected by COVID-19 to facilitate Australia’s economic recovery. The reforms are designed to reduce regulatory burden to ensure a timely flow of credit and resolution for distressed business. These include:
- introducing a new process to enable eligible incorporated small businesses in financial distress to restructure their own affairs;
- simplifying the liquidation process for eligible incorporated small businesses;
- support for the insolvency sector;
- introducing a standard licensing regime for debt management firms who represent consumers in dispute resolution processes with credit providers;
- removing duplication between the responsible lending obligations contained in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) standards and guidance for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and establishing a similar new credit framework for non-ADIs;
- enhancing the regulation of small amount credit contracts and consumer leases to ensure that the most vulnerable consumers are protected.