Building societies and credit unions have joined banks in expressing dissatisfaction at Peter Garrett’s incompetent mismanagement of the bungled Green Loans program, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham said today.
In its submission* to a Senate inquiry into the Green Loans debacle, Abacus (the Association of Building Societies and Credit Unions) has echoed the frustrations voiced by the Australian Bankers’ Association in its submission.
Abacus represents 21 of the 24 financial institutions participating in the Green Loans program, the mismanagement of which has left 100,000 Australians unable to access the promised loans and thousands of assessors out of work.
“Of potential greatest concern is the suggestion from Abacus that many participating financial institutions have expressed a strong reluctance to be involved with any future similar Government programs,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This follows similar comments from banks, but is sadly not surprising given the frustrating experiences they detail after making significant investments in developing their Green Loan products.
“Abacus says many institutions have been left out of pocket by the sudden abandonment of the program’s loans component, which in the case of mutuals has a direct impact on members.”
Other problems identified by Abacus include sporadic and poor communications between the environment department and financial institutions, and a completely inadequate invoice payment system that saw most institutions not paid for months at a time.
“Banks and credit unions are just one group of people to have lost time or money as a result of the Green Loans debacle, with thousands of assessors left virtually unemployed and many homeowners disillusioned,” Senator Birmingham said.
“I look forward to these and other issues surrounding the Green Loans debacle being fully explored by our Senate inquiry.”
*Submissions to the Senate inquiry can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/green_loans/submissions.htm