31,000 credit complaints since Banking Royal Commission: CHOICE

Data reveals postcodes flooded with complaints about loans as Government plans to remove lending protections.

 

An analysis by consumer group CHOICE has revealed over 31,000 complaints have been made about credit products since the end of the Banking Royal Commission’s hearings. The analysis comes as crossbench Senators in Federal Parliament decide on a government proposal to  roll back consumer protections.

 

“The banks promised they’d clean up their act after the shame of the Royal Commission hearings but over 31,000 credit complaints show there are still huge problems in the system,” says Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOICE.

 

“Repealing safe lending laws is an extraordinary thing to do when many Australians are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. If passed, this will be the biggest handout to the banks we’ve seen in decades. This is a time for the Senate to do what it was created to do - temper the influence of lobbyists and make sure Australians are put first,” says Mr Kirkland.

 

CHOICE analysed Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) complaints data across consumer loans, credit cards and housing finance from November 2018 to December 2020. Complaints on credit products can range from irresponsible lending and charging of incorrect fees to poor customer service, fraud, and unfair terms and conditions.

 

Terrigal and surrounding suburbs on the Central Coast of NSW top the list with over 1000 credit product complaints. Complaints come from across the country, from Werribee in Victoria to Parramatta in NSW and even Sydney’s prestige harbour suburbs - demonstrating that bad bank behaviour affects Australians all over.

 

“Right now, ABS data shows that mortgage lending is at record highs. This is fuelling a housing boom that is pushing home ownership out of reach of many more Australians. Scrapping safe lending will land many people with large debts they can’t afford and take away their ability to receive justice,” says Mr Kirkland.

 

“This contradicts the very first recommendation of the Banking Royal Commission - to leave safe lending laws intact.”

 

The repeal of safe lending laws rests in the hands of the Senate crossbench, with a vote on new laws expected this week.

 

Total credit product complaints by Australian postcode.

State

Postcode

1/07/2020 - 31/12/2020

01/07/19 - 30/06/20

01/11/18 - 30/06/2019

Total credit product complaints

New South Wales

2260

439

464

147

1050

New South Wales

2150

241

326

162

729

Victoria

3030

136

353

193

682

Victoria

3043

147

289

170

606

Victoria

3029

167

276

144

587

New South Wales

2210

154

349

52

555

New South Wales

2170

92

260

151

503

New South Wales

2000

93

262

121

476

Victoria

3070

39

297

112

448

Victoria

3064

109

225

131

465

Source: AFCA Datacube. Total complaints for credit cards, personal loans and housing finance products.

 

An analysis of financial complaints data by consumer group CHOICE has revealed Queenslanders have made over 5,900 complaints about credit products since the end of the Banking Royal Commission’s public hearings.

 

Total credit product complaints Queensland postcode.

Postcode

01/07/2020- 31/12/2020

01/07/2019 - 30/06/2020

01/11/2018 - 30/06/2019

Total credit product complaints

4209

66

149

94

309

4220

112

150

39

301

4300

71

129

97

297

4500

121

80

49

250

4870

36

137

74

247

4207

51

126

69

246

4305

47

110

67

224

4350

42

117

62

221

4215

37

117

66

220

4217

44

110

64

218

Source: AFCA Datacube. Total complaints for credit cards, personal loans and housing finance products.

 

16 March 2021.