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Small businesses to benefit from lending changes

Small businesses are tipped to benefit from the mandatory comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) regime set to roll out for the big four banks from 1 July 2018, with smaller providers afforded extra time and flexibility to develop their systems.

Small businesses to benefit from lending changes
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Earlier this year, the Productivity Commission made recommendations to the government to draft legislation to mandate CCR if credit providers did not meet a reporting threshold of 40 per cent. The figure is currently less than 1 per cent.

CCR helps provide a more complete picture of consumer credit behaviour, with repayment obligations and credit limits included. This will help new entrants and small lenders better serve customers and assess borrowing capacity.

Some of the benefits of CCR put forward by the Productivity Commission include improving access to credit for minorities that would otherwise struggle to access credit; more accurate pricing of credit; and greater competition in the credit market.

Federal treasurer Scott Morrison said the new CCR regime would result “not only in greater lending competition but also better access to finance for Australian households and small businesses.”

“Comprehensive credit reporting will give lenders access to a deeper, richer set of data, encouraging competition for small businesses and retail customers with positive credit histories,” Mr Morrison said.

The four major banks will be the first to face the mandated reporting, given they account for approximately 80 per cent of the volume of lending to households.

The big four banks will be required to have 50 per cent of their credit data ready for reporting by 1 July 2018, increasing to 100 per cent a year later.

Smaller providers will be given flexibility to develop their systems, with the Treasury to further consult with stakeholders on the nature and level of the threshold.

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