Finance

Credit card loans: 31,000 Australians have complained about banks since the Banking Royal Commission

More than 31,000 Australians have made complaints about banks since the Banking Royal Commission concluded on February 1 2019.

Data from the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) shows that 31,000 Australians lodged formal complaints about consumer loans, credit cards and housing finance from November 2018 to December 2020.

It comes as the federal government decides on a proposal to roll back consumer protections.

In September last year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced changes to the responsible lending obligations in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

The reforms are meant to make borrowing easier as the economy recovers from COVID-19, but consumer group CHOICE is warning it will have the opposite effect on everyday Australians.

New lending laws could endanger the lives of thousands of Australians, putting them in even greater debt. Credit: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The legislation is still in its draft phase.

Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOICE, says the consumer group has analysed the 31,000 complaints and said now is the time to tighten, not loosen, lending laws.

“The banks promise 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,” he said.

CHOICE analysed the complaints and found the issues ranged from irresponsible lending and charging of incorrect fees to poor customer service, fraud, and unfair terms and conditions.

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