The seminars are intended to inform the industry on credit law, update them on Commission guidance material, and our activity and priorities. Importantly, they also help the Commission better understand the issues that lenders are facing.

“We want to ensure that there is a level playing field for lenders and also that there is clarity and certainty about their legal obligations and the things they need to do to comply with the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA),” Commissioner Anna Rawlings told the Auckland gathering.

“Lenders really need to have regard to the whole life of their relationship with borrowers, whether it’s advertising credit, entering into loans, engaging responsibly and looking for solutions when things go wrong with your borrowers, or exercising responsible debt recovery processes – the entire life of that relationship is at issue,” she said.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi opened the Wellington event, saying he asked for his ministerial portfolio because of what he sees in his Mana electorate.

“I see first-hand a lot of damage that is done to families in and around vulnerable consumers and some predatory-type behaviour to lending, so it’s my number one political priority to make sure that we deal with some of the harsher edges of what I think isn’t working with the [CCCFA] at the moment,” he said.

He also talked of lifting financial capability for New Zealanders, and of having a “safe place to borrow”.

Referring to the current review of the CCCFA, Mr Faafoi said the government is “open to looking at the likes of interest rate caps”, that the law would be “beefed up”, and that 2015 changes to the law “didn’t go far enough”.

Attendees were invited to leave feedback at all three events – it was great to hear that the sessions covered a good range of topics, helped further understanding and led to lenders making some changes.

Watch the videos of the Auckland seminar, including Minister Faafoi’s comments.