Code to improve industry transparency
As of 1 January 2019, GetCapital achieved full compliance with the Australian Finance Industry Association’s (AFIA) Code of Lending Practice, a customer-centric regulatory regime that supports small businesses by raising the level of transparency and disclosure in the industry.
The Code provides principles and best practice guidelines to help small businesses clearly identify if an online loan from a lender is compliant with the new Code, is right for their needs, exactly how much it is going to cost, and if it is the best solution available to them.
“We are committed to putting Australian small business owners first and elevating the level of lending transparency in the market,” said GetCapital COO Frank Sterle. “We consider the implementation of the Code to be a win for small business and are proud to have played a key role in its development”.
Introduced in June of 2018 together with a group of other online small business lenders, the compliance regime was developed in extensive collaboration with AFIA, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (the Ombudsman), SME advocate, theBankDoctor.org and industry association FinTech Australia.
AFIA CEO, Helen Gordon said: “Together, in 10 months, we have established a Code with principles, guidelines and a governance process that other Fintech and non-fintech groups can replicate and leverage for their own products”.
The Code supports small businesses by providing them with pricing comparison tool alongside their loan contract called the SMART BoxTM, an internationally recognised pricing disclosure model introduced in North America in October 2016 in response to a need for common language and standardisation in pricing disclosure in small business finance.
The SMART BoxTM includes clear and consistent pricing metrics, metric calculations, and explanations to help small businesses understand and assess the costs of their finance options. In Australia, it was developed in extensive consultation with key small business stakeholders, including lending platforms, policymakers, not-for-profit organisations, small business owners, and small business advocates.
The Code can be accessed here: https://www.afia.asn.au/aosbl