The corporate regulator has revealed that it will publish the findings of its home loan shadow shopping exercise and its review on loan fraud as well as launch a new home loan data collection project in 2019.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released its Corporate Plan for 2018–19 to 2021–22, which reveals that the regulator’s ongoing reviews on the mortgage market will come to a head next year.
After the Australian Securities and Investments Commission released its report on broker remuneration last year, Michael Saadat, ASIC’s senior executive leader for deposit takers, insurers & credit services, told The Adviser that the commission would be undertaking a shadow shopping exercise in the 2018 financial year.
The shadow shopping exercise has been undertaking consumer and broker research in a bid to better understand the consumer experience of the home loan process and details of the credit assistance process. The research will reportedly cover both broker-originated loans as well as those from the proprietary channel.
According to the regulator’s Corporate Plan for 2018–19 to 2021–22, the findings from the shadow shopping project of the home lending market will be published by 30 June 2019.
Loan fraud report expected by April
Further, the regulator revealed that it will publish the findings from its review on loan fraud in the consumer credit market, which includes the home loan market, by 31 March 2019.
The industry-wide loan fraud project, which was announced after the regulator received additional funding in 2016, aims to examine the type and level of loan application fraud currently faced by the industry and their practices for preventing, detecting and responding to it.
The review will reportedly include the level of identified consumer harm and the practices of the industry, and is expected to cover major banks, some non-major banks, non-banks as well as major aggregators.
While ASIC has said that it will publish its findings by 31 March 2019, it anticipates that it will need to do “follow-up work in 2019–20, including monitoring of compliance with obligations, such as responsible lending and monitoring of complaints”.
Meanwhile, ASIC’s corporate plan also shows that it will be publishing both “new and revised” guidance on responsible lending conduct (RG 209) by June 2018 as part of its work to “foster positive behaviours”.
It added that it would continue to “monitor and respond to industry practices to improve consumer outcomes”, including by running a pilot “data collection project for home loans”. Further details of this project have not yet been disclosed.
Speaking after the release of the corporate plan last month, ASIC chair James Shipton said: “ASIC expects financial sector firms to adopt a culture of professionalism from the very top of the organisation right through to the front line in order to win back community trust. Equally, it is important for ASIC to demonstrate professional values and to be held to account.”
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