Lenders’ handling of customers’ hardship inadequate, as requests for help soar

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has released a new report today, that outlines findings from a review of 10 large home lenders and concludes they should be doing much more to support Australians who were struggling to meet their home loan repayments.

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Stephanie Tonkin said that the report’s findings align with stories of serious financial harm she has been hearing from the growing number of callers to the National Debt Helpline in the cost of living crisis.

“Every day our financial counsellors on the National Debt Helpline are speaking to people experiencing financial hardship and scared about losing their homes,” Ms Tonkin said.

“We have been telling lenders for over a year now that their customers are still receiving inconsistent and inadequate financial hardship responses when they seek help.

“The hardship stories our financial counsellors hear every day are complex and unique, requiring tailored and thoughtful solutions, not a cookie-cutter approach.

“This report calls for lenders to undertake a serious wholesale review of their customer service systems and culture, beginning with putting the customer -not debt recovery- at the centre.  This must also involve lenders getting better at identifying hardship presenting to their contact centres.

The ASIC report starkly highlights the soaring high number of financial hardship applications  - there  were over 52,000 hardship notices in one quarter (Oct- Dec 2023).


Media contact: Mark Pearce, Media and Communications Adviser, 0413 299 567, media@consumeraction.org.au

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Skip to content