2.7 Introducers

Before leaving the topic of intermediated home lending, I should say something about introducers.

As I noted in the Interim Report, at a practical level, introducers are more clearly the face of the lender than the borrower.[1] Under the law, introducers must comply with certain requirements, including that they do no more than refer the potential borrower to the lender and facilitate the borrower making contact with the lender.[2] Introducers have an obligation to disclose to a potential borrower any benefits, including commissions, that the introducer may receive for the referral.[3] The effect of the current regime is that introducers are not permitted to be involved in the credit application or assessment process.

Introducers must only act within the confines of their prescribed role. Entities must have systems in place to ensure that introducers do not exceed this role. And entities should not regard the role of the introducer as modifying their own responsible lending obligations. If introducers and entities behave in this way, introducer programs are not incompatible with responsible lending obligations.

[1] FSRC, Interim Report, vol 1, 57.

[2] National Consumer Credit Protection Regulations 2010 (Cth) (the NCCP Regulations) regs 25(2)(a), 25(2A)(a).

[3] NCCP Regulations reg 25(2)(b).