Changes to credit laws not enough, critics say

Source: 1News

A visit to the bank can be a stressful experience and even tougher for those finding it almost impossible to get a loan.

Changes to credit laws made late last year saw banks scrutinising every expense from loan applicants. The laws were aimed at protecting people from unscrupulous lenders, and not just for home loans, but any type of borrowing.

The regulations have seen an uptick in loans being declined, says Roger Beaumont of the Bankers Association.

"Our banks are telling me that approximately 10% of loans that would've been approved prior to December 1 are now being declined because of these regulations," he said.

So after major backlash, some tweaks are being made from Thursday.

"Some clear guidance around when a loan is affordable and making it clear that banks don't have to go back and check banking records when people have made it really clear what their future budget is," Commerce Minister David Clark said.

But that's not enough for some.

"There's one or two quite good things in there but the rules are still really prescriptive in terms of the hoops they need to jump through. One of the good things is that for example, savings were treated as an expense, and that's no longer the case," Beaumont told 1News.

Money Empire chief executive Isa Nacewa agreed.

"I definitely think more changes are needed, obviously you can't make mass changes immediately and roll it all out in one."

There may be further relief in sight. The Council of Financial Regulators is undertaking a review and Clark is promising to look at whether any further changes can be made.

"It is challenging for people who are wanting to borrow for mortgages and other purposes, but it's also important we have the right regime that looks after consumers long term interests," Clark said.