Addendum to the Responsible Lending Code: COVID-19

Submissions closed: 21 September 2021, 5pm

Public submissions are now open on some additional guidance for the Responsible Lending Code.


Since mid-August 2021, lenders have been dealing with an increased number of borrowers who have been experiencing financial stress as a result of COVID‐19. Borrowers have been seeking variations to consumer credit contracts (e.g. mortgages and personal loans) to provide them with relief. Common means of relief include reducing current repayments by extending loan terms, changing the type of repayments (e.g. interest only payments), or temporarily deferring repayments.

The proposed guidance will cover situations where an existing consumer credit contract is varied or replaced for the purpose of reducing a borrower’s financial difficulties brought on by the economic or health impacts of COVID-19. This excludes brand new lending.

The proposed guidance is proposed to expire on 1 February 2022. This is because the guidance is only intended to apply for a relatively short period of time while there is significant disruption and uncertainty. From 1 February, new Chapter 12 of the Responsible Lending Code comes into effect and provides updated, permanent guidance on dealing with hardship.

The proposed guidance was originally introduced on 31 August 2020, and expired on 31 March 2021.

We are considering reinstating this guidance in light of the recent COVID-19 Delta variant outbreak.