A forensic report into a One Nation led inquiry examining rural lending practices to Australia’s primary producers, has been tabled in the Senate, landing several blows to the nation’s embattled finance industry.
The Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Lending to Primary Production Customers has unveiled a series of systemic and unethical conduct.
The six month Senate Inquiry received 85 submissions affecting hundreds of famers and small businesses across the country.
The report, which has made 27 recommendations, includes:
Report’s Key Recommendations
1. Implement a national, low-cost, compulsory dispute resolution scheme. (Recommendation 13)
2. Force banks to come to the table and attend mediation. (Recommendation 12)
3. Train rural counsellors and provide greater advocacy for farmers. (Recommendation 14)
4. Educate mediators in farm practices and farm finance arrangements. (Recommendation 14)
5. Limit the banks from charging penalty interest rates. (Recommendation 10)
6. Stop the banks from unilaterally amending loan agreements to the detriment of the customer. (Recommendation 3)
7. Make receivers accountable for their actions and require them to report regularly to both the bank and the customer. (Recommendation 15)
8. Give AFCA wide ranging powers to determine disputes, award compensation to farmers, and set aside any agreements between the banks and their customers. (Recommendation 13)
9. A Royal Commission fully consider the evidence published by the committee in the context of its inquiry. (Recommendation 27)
Watch the Media Conference here: http://bit.ly/2iufgoE
Full Report here: http://bit.ly/2AvTQS8