ASIC aims to root out 'predatory lenders'

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has received applications for credit provider licences ahead of its assumption of regulatory control on Thursday (July 1st), it has been revealed.

ASIC will take over regulation of all consumer lending, including credit cards, store cards and mortgages from that date, thus replacing the state-by-state approach, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

As the newspaper observed, lenders previously accused of "predatory lending" practices have already lodged applications with ASIC to secure new licences under the body.

These include Permanent Mortgages, a lending entity within La Trobe Financial, which was found this year by the Supreme Court of Western Australia to have dealt unconscionably with an 85-year-old woman.

Brian Ford, the chief operating officer of La Trobe Financial, has blamed previous bad loans on mortgage brokers acting on the company’s behalf and has said he is "confident of receiving a credit provider’s licence from ASIC given we have been in operation since 1952 and have a proven track record".

ASIC’s new regulatory system may affect the decision of Australians wishing to compare credit cards and secure the best deals.

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