ACCC/ASIC
Debt Collection Guidelines
Kim Parker
General Manager
Consumer & Small Business Strategies Branch
Enforcement & ...
Overview
Revision of ASIC/ACCC 2005 Debt
Collection Guidelines
Changes in
legislation
Changes to
industry practices
and br...
Who We Are
An independent Commonwealth statutory authority within
the Treasury portfolio
The ACCC has a Chairman, two Depu...
ACCC/ASIC Debt Collection Guidelines
- Some background and history
• 1999 -> 2005 -> 2014
• Broad objective of this guidan...
Key changes at the Federal level
• Competition & Consumer Act 2010
• Australian Consumer Law
• National Consumer Protectio...
Changes to industry practices and the
broader operating environment
• Technological changes
– New channels of communicatio...
Development of new case law
Of particular note:
• ACCC v Excite Mobile (2013)
• ASIC v ACM (2012)
• ACCC v Sampson (2011)
Consultation with industry
• First stage – consultation with 16 key industry
stakeholders in 2013 before the revision comm...
Some key issues under consideration
• Reasonable hours of contact
• Frequency of face to face contact
• How debt collector...
Next steps
• ACCC and ASIC to finalise the revised guidance
• Stakeholders who provided feedback will be notified as
to wh...
More Information
Infocentre 1300 302 502
Website www.accc.gov.au
Twitter @ACCCgovau
www.ccaeducationprograms.org
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Kim Parker, ACCC - Discussing hardship in broader terms where credit code type protections do not exist

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Kim Parker, General Manager, Consumer and Small Business Strategies Branch, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission delivered this presentation at the inaugural Financial Hardship Forum. The Forum convenes the banking and credit sector, plus regulatory, compliance and resolution agencies, to address changes in financial circumstances for consumers and businesses.

For more information, please visit http://www.informa.com.au/finhardship

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Transcript of "Kim Parker, ACCC - Discussing hardship in broader terms where credit code type protections do not exist"

  1. 1. ACCC/ASIC Debt Collection Guidelines Kim Parker General Manager Consumer & Small Business Strategies Branch Enforcement & Compliance Division Financial Hardship Forum Sydney – 19 March 2014
  2. 2. Overview Revision of ASIC/ACCC 2005 Debt Collection Guidelines Changes in legislation Changes to industry practices and broader environment Development of new case law
  3. 3. Who We Are An independent Commonwealth statutory authority within the Treasury portfolio The ACCC has a Chairman, two Deputy Chairs, and three Commissioners with offices in each State/Territory The ACCC aims to protect all Australian consumers and to ensure a trading environment in Australia which is competitive and fair The ACCC is an enforcement agency and does not set policy – regulates the CCA and ACL
  4. 4. ACCC/ASIC Debt Collection Guidelines - Some background and history • 1999 -> 2005 -> 2014 • Broad objective of this guidance • Industry support for guidelines • ACCC/ASIC guidance - recommended conduct picking up on relevant case examples • Importance of independent legal advice
  5. 5. Key changes at the Federal level • Competition & Consumer Act 2010 • Australian Consumer Law • National Consumer Protection Act (NCCP) and the National Credit Code (NCC) • Consumer Credit Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Act • National Privacy Principles (NPPs) -> Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) • Privacy Commissioner’s Guidelines • National Energy Retail Law • Credit Reporting Code of Conduct Some key changes at the State level • Section 46 of the ACL & Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) • Debt Collectors (Field Agents & Collection Agents) Bill 2013 Changes to legislation
  6. 6. Changes to industry practices and the broader operating environment • Technological changes – New channels of communication – In particular, social media • Application of hardship policies and procedures • Access to representation – in May 2013, FCA and ABA agreed on a common third party authority • Trend for accounts from energy retailers to be assigned to debt collectors • ACCC complaints data does not reveal any new emerging trends in issues that are the subject of the complaints.
  7. 7. Development of new case law Of particular note: • ACCC v Excite Mobile (2013) • ASIC v ACM (2012) • ACCC v Sampson (2011)
  8. 8. Consultation with industry • First stage – consultation with 16 key industry stakeholders in 2013 before the revision commenced to clearly understand the issues • Second stage - draft revised guidelines released to key industry stakeholders on 15 November 2013 • 100 points of feedback received with four main contentious issues arising • ACCC and ASIC are currently considering the feedback received. In many instances, the feedback has been accepted and further changes will be made. • A number of key issues still under consideration.
  9. 9. Some key issues under consideration • Reasonable hours of contact • Frequency of face to face contact • How debt collectors/creditors should represent themselves to others when collecting debts taking into account privacy issues • What is ‘continuous contact’?
  10. 10. Next steps • ACCC and ASIC to finalise the revised guidance • Stakeholders who provided feedback will be notified as to where the regulators land with respect to the various issues in contention • New revised guidance expected to be released before end May 2014 • New guidance expected to be in the form of an e-book • Ongoing feedback about the guidance is always welcome
  11. 11. More Information Infocentre 1300 302 502 Website www.accc.gov.au Twitter @ACCCgovau www.ccaeducationprograms.org
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