The Commerce Commission has finalised the criteria it will use to assess whether a lender is ‘fit and proper’ under changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCF Act) after receiving submissions from interested stakeholders.
The confirmed ‘fit and proper’ criteria focus on whether all directors and senior managers of lenders and mobile traders are competent, financially sound, honest, reputable, reliable and competent to do the job.
Due to COVID-19 the date the Commission must be satisfied that all directors and senior managers of lenders and mobile traders are ‘fit and proper’ has been moved from 1 April 2021 to no earlier than 1 October 2021. These individuals must be certified as ‘fit and proper’ by the Commission before the lender can be registered on the Financial Service Providers Register. Lending without certification could result in penalties of up to $600,000 for a company or $200,000 for an individual.
Submissions on the proposed ‘fit and proper’ criteria closed on 18 March 2020. Responses were received from 20 interested stakeholders and helped the Commission finalise the criteria. Key themes of the submissions included length of timeframes, the broad range of criteria, assessment of convictions and conflict of interest. Details of the submissions, the Commission’s responses, and the finalised criteria are outlined in the consultation response report. All non-confidential submissions can be viewed on the Commission’s website.
The Commission is intending to provide guidance about the certification process and how it plans to apply the criteria later in the year.
The Government has introduced a range of changes to the CCCF Act which come into effect in stages between December 2019 and October 2021. For more information on the changes and the timeline see the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website and the Commission’s website.