As many lenders are likely aware, further amendments to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Regulations 2004 (Regulations) and the responsible lending code (RLC) are coming into force on 4 May 2023.
The set of amendments will include:
- more explicitly excluding discretionary expenses from the expenses considered by lenders in the affordability assessment;
- providing more flexibility for lenders calculating certain repayments, by removing buy-now, pay-later contracts from special requirements for revolving credit contracts; and
- extending exceptions from full income and expense assessments for refinancing (including from a different lender) of existing credit contracts.
The amendments to the Regulations can be read here.
The Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) announced these amendments are intended to:
- Ease the access to credit while maintaining a strong level of consumer protection.
- Address the unintended impacts and consequences of previous amendments as they relate to lenders completing the affordability assessment.
In respect of MBIE’s point regarding addressing unintended impacts, this seems to relate to commentary, as many lenders will remember, that loan applications were being denied due to a customer’s coffee purchases and other discretionary expenses.
To learn what these new amendments may mean for your business, please contact one of our experts below.
This article was co-authored by Travis Mackie, a solicitor in our Banking team.
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