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The Australian National University

Regulation Governing the Provision of Credit Assistance and Financial Advice in Australia: A Consumer’s Perspective

Gill North (2015) 43 (3)

Five years ago the global financial crisis threatened the world’s financial system and its aftermath wreaked devastation across many parts of the globe. Mis-selling of home mortgages to consumers unable to repay their loans and global sales of financial products linked to residential lending were at the heart of the crisis. Financial reforms governing housing credit frameworks and the selling of complex financial products have ensued within domestic and international spheres. This article reviews the regulatory structures in Australia governing the provision of residential housing mortgages and credit assistance and the provision of financial advice. Its analysis focuses on customer suitability processes, client duties, and remuneration provisions because these legal features significantly influence, and can adversely impact, consumer outcomes. It suggests specific reforms to ensure adequate consumer protection and enhance the consistency and efficacy of the credit framework. It also calls for renewed debate on the remuneration structures of mortgage brokers.

Vol 43, Issue 3, 2015

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