By Aimee Chanthadavong

Retail and financial services provider Thorn Group has welcomed the introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.

The company has received a licence that applies to all of its brands including Radio Rentals, Rentlo, Thorn Business Services and Cashfirst.

Under the new Act, it requires all credit providers to be licensed to meet requirements for responsible lending, which means providing consumers with products and services suited to their needs and capacity to pay.

John Hughes, Thorn managing director, told RetailBiz the legislation was a necessary step towards improving industry standards.

“Previously, it was legislated state-by-state and it wasn’t an encompassing legislation and by far, this new legislation is encompassing, particularly about being responsible to lending over committed customers relative to their situation,” he said.

“It’s a very positive step and we believe there are still further opportunities to improve it.”

To ensure high standards of compliance and its continued position at the forefront of responsible lending, Thorn has invested into new technology, systems and staff training.

“We’ve certainly invested into changes in our IT system. For instance, our score carding system, which was done manually at store level, is now automated. So there’s that sort of change with bringing in more automation in the way we do things and this benefits us as we’re improving our reliability while taken the burden off our stores,” Hughes said.