We would like you to be confident that the personal information you provide to us is treated with the highest degree of integrity and privacy.
However, it is equally important to us that we provide the best possible service across our wide range of products and services. To achieve this aim we need to make the best use of your personal information.
Who are we?
Through accreditation with lenders and networks we have access to many lenders in Australia . We also provide services to borrowers to assist them with using credit products, property services and managing debt.
Our details are as follows:-
What is “personal information”?
Personal information is any information or opinion about you in which you are identified, or in which your identity can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion. It does not matter whether the information or opinion is true or not, or whether it is recorded in a material form or not. It can be information in a database.
Why we collect your personal information?
Collecting your personal information, either from you directly or from other sources, is essential to enable us to:
- provide products and services to you;
- submit loan applications to lenders and mortgage managers on your behalf; and
- if you are to provide services to us – assess the service contract or arrangement, and fulfil our obligations under it.
We also collect your personal information, so that we can constantly to improve our products and services.
Collecting your personal information also allows us to identify and protect your personal information, including account information and services, from unauthorised access.
How do we collect your personal information?
Where possible we collect your personal information directly from you. You provide this information to us when you complete a contact form, an application form for a product or request a product or service over the telephone or internet.
Personal information is also collected during the course of our relationship with you. For example, when you contact us to discuss your existing loans, extensions to the loans, repayments and restructuring your loans. .
Sometimes it is necessary for us to collect your personal information from other sources. For example:
- we may approach your employer to confirm your employment details to support your application; and/or
- we may approach your landlord or a real estate agent to confirm your residence and rent payments to support your application.
In most situations we will request your consent to any collection, use or disclosure of your personal information by us. Your consent will usually be required to be in writing but we may accept your verbal or implied consent in certain circumstances.
How we use your personal information?
We use the personal information that we collect so that we can provide you with our products and services and administer and enhance the relationship we have with you.
We may also share the information with our related entities and with other credit providers, mortgage managers and mortgage insurers.
From time to time we may use your personal information to provide you with information about our extensive range of products and services. Our contact with you will usually be by mail, telephone or email.
If you do not want to receive any of this information please contact our Compliance Officer. Once you have told us you no longer wish to receive information about our products and services, we will not send you any further material, unless we are required by law to send such information to you.
You can, however, change your mind about receiving information about our products and services at any time – either way, you just need to let us know.
We do not disclose your personal information to a party outside our company for the purposes of allowing them to direct market their products or services to you, unless you have specifically agreed to our doing so.
We will not call personally at your residence or place of work unless you specifically agree to this and we arrange an appointment beforehand.
Do we disclose your personal information to anyone?
Handling your application
We need to pass your personal information on to the credit providers, mortgage managers and mortgage insurers we approach on your behalf.
As part of the application and pre-application process, we may also need to disclose aspects of your personal information to:
- your referees, employers, landlords and others for the purpose of identifying you correctly when we seek confirmations from them regarding the details you have provided to us;
- mail service providers for purpose of mailing material to you;
- the guarantors you offer on loan applications for the purpose of allowing them to fully understand their obligations; and
- our advisors including, mortgage managers, mortgage insurers, originators, financial consultants, accountants, lawyers and any other advisor acting in connection with any financing provided or proposed to be provided to you for the purpose of providing our services to you.
As required by law
We may also disclose your personal information if we are required or authorised to do so by law. For example, to a Court in response to a subpoena or to the Australian Taxation Office following a direction issued under taxation laws.
With your consent
With you consent, we will disclose your personal information to other parties. Your consent may be given explicitly such as in writing or verbally, or may be implied from your conduct such as if you publicly discuss details of the relationship you have with us.
Oor contracted entities
Where a contracted entity is dealing with you then we may need to pass information to the entity in the course of handling your loan application. Each contractor is bound to comply with the provisions of this policy.
How do Credit Providers and Insurers deal with the information we give them?
Prior to actually entering into the finance agreement or insurance policy, you will be asked to give your written consent to allow those organisations to use your personal information. They will provide full details of how they intend to use and store the information at that time.
Ensuring your personal information is up-to-date?
We rely on the personal information we hold about you to efficiently conduct our business of providing or arranging products and services.
For this reason, it is very important that the personal information we collect from you is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
During the course of our relationship with you we may ask you to tell us of any changes to your personal information. We also invite you to contact us at any time to update or correct your personal information.
Is my personal information secure?
The protection of your personal information is a priority for us.
This is why we take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your personal information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Can I access the personal information held about me?
You may request access to any of the personal information we hold about you.
In most cases, details of the personal information we hold about you is available by contacting our Compliance Officer , or visiting our head office.
If the information you seek is not readily available, for example, archived data, then we will endeavour to provide this to you within 30 days of your request. We reserve the right to charge you a fee for this retrieval.
We may be required by law or by good business practice to retain you personal information for a period of time after you have ceased your relationship with us. After the required time has passed we attend to the secure destruction or deletion of your personal information.
Can my request for access to my personal information be denied?
We are not always required to provide you with access to your personal information upon your request.
We may refuse you access to personal information in a number of circumstances, such as where the information may relate to existing or anticipated legal proceedings with you, where denying access is required or authorised by law, or where the request for access is regarded as frivolous or vexatious.
If we deny your request for access to, or refuse your request to correct your personal information, we will explain why and will keep a record of your request on our file.
Do I have to be identified?
Generally it is not possible for us to do business with you unless we have identified you. This is necessary as standard business practice and also protects you against someone using your name fraudulently to obtain finance or insurance. We will usually ask you for photographic evidence such as a drivers licence or passport.
We will not use any Commonwealth Identifiers such as Tax File Numbers, Medicare cards or the like and if these are provided in any information you give us we will not record them in our files and will remove any reference to them from documents you provide to us.
Wherever it is lawful and practicable to do so, we may offer you the opportunity to deal with us anonymously, if you request it. For example, when making an enquiry about current interest rates applicable or the type of products or services we offer.
Does your company collect “Sensitive Information”?
Personal information concerning particular topics is regarded as sensitive information.
Sensitive information includes information about your:
- racial or ethnic origin;
- political opinions;
- membership of a political association;
- religious beliefs or affiliations;
- philosophical beliefs;
- membership of a professional or trade association;
- membership of a trade union;
- sexual preferences or practices;
- criminal record; and
We generally have very limited need to obtain such information, however may require some information such as criminal record or health to arrange certain insurance facilities. If such information is needed then it will only be obtained and/or used with your consent. If, in the course of arranging your application or facilities, such information does come into our possession from a third party, we will seek your consent to collect, store and use this should we consider such use necessary in your application.
Access to our services via the Internet
We receive referrals through its website. We are committed to ensuring that any personal information we collect online is treated with the same level of care as if it was received via personal contact.
What are ‘Cookies’ and how do they work?
Cookies are small data files that are downloaded from our web servers, and stored on your hard drive.
A cookie is a string of letters and numbers that uniquely identify the computer you are using, and the customer number and access code you may have used to register at the site.
Cookies are used on the website.
We track a visitor’s journey through our site. This allows us to see at a glance which pages and information is of most interest to visitors. This type of cookie contains no personal information. It is simply a record of your journey through the site and no attempt will be made to identify users.
Most browsers can be configured to refuse to accept cookies. You can also delete cookies from your hard drive. However, doing so may hinder your access to valuable areas of information within our site.
Our websites may contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of these websites.
Our company can and does receive referral fees from other parties. These referral fees may be received from finance brokers or credit providers. These fees can amount up to 0.5% of the loan amount.
We constantly review all its policies and procedures to keep up to date with changes in the law, technology and market practice.
Concerns or requests for access?
You can make any requests relating to your personal information held by us or any complaints regarding treatment of your privacy by contacting us.
The directors, managers and staff understand that, although we do our best to provide a high level of service, you may at times feel that there are issues that have not been resolved to your satisfaction.
At this point you may feel dissatisfied but are unsure about how to have your complaints resolved.
So that customers have the opportunity to make these complaints known, we have developed a Dispute Resolution Scheme as an additional service to members free of charge.
This process means:
- You have a way of having your complaint addressed
- Your directors and senior management will be aware of the issue that is of concern to you
- Procedures, products and practices can be adjusted, if possible, to improve our service
Things you should know about our internal dispute resolution scheme
- You are not obliged to pursue a complaint with us using the Internal Dispute Resolution Scheme
- If you use the Internal Dispute Resolution Scheme, you may commence legal proceedings before, after or at the same time as using the Internal Dispute Resolution Scheme.
- Out participation in the Internal Dispute Resolution Scheme is not a waiver of any rights we may have under the law, or under any contract between you and us.
- This Guide is not a contract between you and us, and it is not enforceable against the us.
Steps you should take if you wish to use our dispite resolution scheme
- How to make a complaint
In most circumstances your complaint can be settled to your satisfaction by simply making us aware. You can raise your complaint with our staff in person, over the phone, fax, email, via our website or in writing.
If the staff member is unable by reasons of authority or experience to handle the matter they will refer your complaint to a more senior or experienced person.
In the great majority of cases at this stage your complaint will be dealt with promptly and to your satisfaction and you will not need additional assistance.
- How to use our Dispute resolution scheme
Where a complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction immediately, it may be necessary for you to answer some questions and complete a Complaint Form in order that FSCU management may properly investigate the complaint.
The staff member, when required, will assist you with registering your complaint. When receiving a verbal complaint the staff member may complete the details of the complaint on your behalf.
The staff member will then read the Complaint Form to you and obtain your consent to its accuracy.
Where we resolve your complaint within 48 hours we will record it in our Complaints & Disputes Register and provide a written acknowledgement of your complaint to you in writing within 2 working days.
Your complaint will then be fully investigated by an authorised officer and a decision made.
- How will you be informed of the outcome?
Our aim is to solve any complaint within 21 working days, although more complex cases may need up to 45 working days. If this happens we will write to you to let you know.
- What if you are not happy with the outcome? If, in spite of our best efforts to resolve your complaint, you are still not happy or satisfied with the resolution, you have access to our external dispute resolution service CIO for an external review of the decision made. CIO is an independent and impartial body established to resolve disputes between participating Finance brokers and their Members which cannot be resolved internally.
If however your complaint refers to Privacy concerns you will be referred to the Privacy Commissioner.
- Our Response
Our Complaints & Dispute Register will be updated showing the result of the outcome and wherever appropriate, our policies, systems and procedures will be adjusted and staff counselled and/or provided with additional training.