AFIA Political Roadshow – Putting the ‘R’ into Representing AFIA Members’ Views with Key Political Figures
To achieve representation on behalf of it’s members and therefore deliver one of it’s three key strategic objectives (Representation, Insights & Connectivity), AFIA has recently held meetings with a significant number of key figures from the major political parties as part of a political roadshow.
The purpose of the roadshow was to make sure Parliament understands the need for consumers and commercial entities (in particular small businesses) to be able to access finance to facilitate their future endeavors and more importantly drive growth in the Australian economy.
AFIA, as a result of these meetings, was able to demonstrate it’s brand and value to the Parliamentary figures and advisers to whom they met. These included:
Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann - Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice President of the Executive Council, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator for Western Australia
Mr Craig Evans - Senior Economic Advisor to The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, Member for Cook
Mr Tom McMahon - Senior Advisor (Economics) to The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition
Mr Damien Callachor - Chief of Staff to The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Member for Riverina
Ms Clare O’Neil MP - Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Shadow Minister for Justice, Member for Hotham
Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP - Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Member for Kingsford Smith
Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Member for McPherson
Senator Jane Hume - Chair Senate Economics Committee
Senator Deb O’Neill - Deputy Chair of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.
The roadshow was interspersed with meeting key decision-makers at the departmental level, in particular Treasury and the Attorney-General’s Department, together with key external stakeholders (ASBFEO Kate Carnell and her office representatives and COSBOA CEO Peter Strong). More details will come out over coming months but key take-outs for members were:
highlighting AFIA’s brand and value to political influencers ; has seen invitations to specifically inform consultations (e.g. Government proposals to enhance opportunities for additional avenues to fund small business financiers, potential further amendment to the Credit Reporting Provisions to facilitate access to maximise value of RHI to small business financiers, key areas of focus for PPS reform, revision of the E-Transaction Regulations to allow compliant e-disclosure for NCA and to inform the Committee Inquiry into regulation of consumer lease of household goods)
AFIA highlighted (as per the economic modelling in our Royal Commission submission), the need not to over-regulate and run the risk of restricting access to credit
Treasury was particularly interested in AFIA’s Steering Group on Responsible Lending to inform ASIC’s review of RG209, the AFIA Online Small Business Lenders Group Code of Lending Practice; and AFIA’s involvement with the Combined Industry Forum on Mortgage Broking Remuneration and our engagement with members and brokers (including via CAFBA) on remuneration arrangements that have been identified to create risk of harm to borrowers in the consumer segment, that are used and may impact arrangements in commercial lending
Attorney-General’s Department confirmed regard for AFIA as a key stakeholder to inform Government’s response to the Whittaker PPS Laws Reform together with other areas in their portfolio including: privacy laws, personal insolvency and e-transactions laws.
Political influencers are also clearly exploring the potential for all commercial financiers providing small business finance to be members of AFCA as a means of providing a voice for small business customer concerns. We highlighted that further consultation would be important on this as there maybe alternatives – such as use of the State Based Small Business Commissioners.
This is a part of focused and ongoing engagement program which will become even more important as the election approaches. AFIA will keep members abreast of developments.
Event Wrap-Up: 2018 AFIA Conference:Taking Charge of the Change
30 November 2018
On 20 November 2018, AFIA hosted our annual Conference Taking Charge of the Change, providing insights to facilitate delegates’ strategic responses to factors influencing financing Australia’s future. Key areas included Government priorities, economic trends both globally and domestically, emerging technologies - utilisation and potential impacts on the future of jobs and embedding trust and ethics in organisational culture to drive customer-centric outcomes.
Event Wrap-Up: AFIA Connect and Collaborate to Finance Australia’s Future
8 November 2018
AFIA recently hosted our Annual Key Stakeholder Event: Connect and Collaborate to Finance Australia’s Future, which discussed the reform and regulation affecting our finance industry on 30 October 2018. Thank you to everyone who attended in person or in spirit.
We had a wonderful turn out and valued connecting with key industry stakeholders including political influencers, policy reformers and regulators together with our members and others from the industry.
AFIA has sought a correction of the article titled “Consumers the Big Winners with New Credit Card Restrictions” Printed in the Australian on 6 September
AFIA Seeks Correction to Article Titled: Consumers the Big Winners with New Credit Card Restrictions
7 September 2018
Notice to Members - Change of Auditor
10 July 2018
The Australian Finance Industry Association Limited ACN 000 493 907 (AFIA) hereby gives notice to Members that HLB Mann Judd has resigned as AFIA’s auditor with effect from 10 July 2018.
The resignation of HLB Mann Judd was approved by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission on 28 June 2018.
The Board of AFIA has resolved to appoint Pitcher Partners Sydney, as its new auditor.
The change of auditor is an outcome of AFIA’s strategic refresh following the merging of the Australian Equipment Lessors Association, Australian Fleet Lessors Association and Debtor Invoice Finance Association with the Australian Finance Industry Association Limited (formerly the Australian Finance Conference) in June 2017.
For further information please contact AFIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Helen Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roundtable on Innovations in Small Business Finance
15 June 2018
The Reserve Bank hosted a roundtable discussion on innovations in small business finance yesterday, along with the Australian Treasury and the Australian Finance Industry Association. The roundtable was chaired by Christopher Kent, Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) of the Reserve Bank.
Small businesses are very important for the economy, but they face challenges accessing finance. Entrepreneurs find it hard to borrow funds when they first start their businesses, and when they are looking to expand. There is a heavy reliance in small business lending on housing collateral and personal guarantees. Entrepreneurs also find loan application processes burdensome, and it can be difficult to compare products across lenders.
The aim of the roundtable was to discuss innovative financing options for small businesses that are emerging from outside the traditional banking system. The participants included representatives from non-bank lenders, government and financial regulators. A broad range of financing options was discussed, including debtor finance, cash flow lending and marketplace lending.
The participants highlighted a number of issues in the small business lending market, including:
How to improve access to finance for small businesses while appropriately managing risk
How to take account of collateral other than real property when lending to small businesses
The availability of funding for new lenders to small businesses
Another key focus of the roundtable was how to improve the information available for both lenders and small businesses. Comprehensive credit reporting and open banking have the potential to improve access to finance by providing lenders with more information for making lending decisions. Small businesses could also benefit from receiving more information about their borrowing options, and the factors that affect their creditworthiness.
Participants agreed that innovation will be important for improving outcomes for both borrowers and lenders in the small business lending market. The Reserve Bank will continue to monitor developments closely.
AFIA introduces the National Car Rental Code of Practice
1 March 2018
The Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) – Fleet & Rental Division has today released a new national Car Rental Code of Practice. AFIA Rental Group members make up a significant proportion of the Australian car rental industry and have committed to delivering enhanced protections for their customers.
As the Australian body for car rental companies, AFIA developed the Code to provide greater transparency and enhanced consumer confidence around car rental practices, on a national scale. The Code ensures an industry standard is set and met on a wide range of issues including: transparency of pricing and credit card charging practices, rental contract terms and damage assessment and billing. This is supported by a clear process to allow customers to raise complaints with our members where they should be resolved in a timely and fair manner. On those occasions where customers may want further consideration following a member’s decision, a further conciliation process is provided.