Australia is going through a major reform of consumer credit regulation, with the implementation of a proposal to transfer regulatory responsibility from the State and Territory Governments to the Commonwealth Government. While the broad policy approach is supported, the reform process has missed a significant opportunity to engage directly with issues of financial exclusion and with the potential role of regulation to reduce financial exclusion. The imposition of an interest rate cap can limit the impact of financial exclusion. However, the future of the existing interest rate caps is uncertain, given the diversity of approaches, and the heated debate that surrounds this issue. In the absence of support for regulatory initiatives to increase the availability of low cost, small loans, permitting regulatory diversity on this issue of interest rate caps, within an otherwise centralised regulatory framework., can minimise the impact of financial exclusion on consumers
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