…As ASIC reviews judgement on “test case”, “carefully”

  • By AB+F Editorial

The corporate regulator will be reviewing the decision by the Federal Court to dismiss its case against Westpac “carefully”. 

In a statement from ASIC on Tuesday, the corporate regulator acknowledged the decision by the Federal Court to dismiss its responsible lending case

“ASIC took on the case against Westpac because of the need for judicial clarification of a cornerstone legal obligation on lenders, this is why ASIC refers to this case as a ‘test case’,” ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said.

“As a regulator, it is our role to test the law and its ambit. 

“The obligation to assess loan applications builds on the requirement for banks to make inquiries about a borrower’s financial circumstances and capacity to service a loan and to verify the information that borrowers give banks,” he said. 

“ASIC is reviewing the judgment carefully.” 

ASIC is currently undertaking a process to update its responsible lending guidance. 

“In part, this is to reflect and incorporate court decisions since ASIC’s guidance was last updated, as well as changes in market practices, conditions and the availability of data accessibility and analytics tools,” ASIC said in a media statement. 

“As is ASIC’s usual practice, we will carefully consider the Court’s determination and how this may impact our guidance.”