Consultation on changes to Responsible Lending Code: COVID-19

We anticipate that disruption to communities from COVID-19 will cause and compound hardship for many. Right now alert level changes are creating many barriers to maintaining or working towards financial wellbeing. We support the proposed addendum to the code on the basis that some additional considerations are added and because this is preferable to the status quo.

However, we believe earlier commencement or at least pointing lenders to the version of Chapter 12 of the responsible lending code that is due to commence from February 2022 would lead to less harm to whānau and communities facing hardship. We also would like to see specific guidance to refer people facing hardship to financial mentors and guidance on the arrangements surrounding these referrals.