Commercial Loan Review Program
What is the BMW Australia Finance (BMW AF) Commercial Loan Review Program?
The Commercial Loan Review (CLR) Program was set up as a result of a review of our internal processes. Out of that review we chose to make some changes to how we assess and process commercial loan applications.
The Program seeks to identify cases where customers were granted a commercial loan by BMW AF even though BMW AF may not have made additional enquiries about the purpose of the loan before agreeing to grant it. It may have been reasonable for BMW AF to make those additional enquiries in some cases.
It is difficult to say ‘after the fact’ what should have been taken into account by BMW AF before these loans were granted. This Program is accordingly taking a broad and pragmatic approach in considering evidence ‘after the fact’, to identify and offer redress in every assessed case where BMW AF did not make sufficient enquiries. The breadth of this approach means that some customers will be offered redress under the program even though BMW AF in fact made sufficient enquiries before deciding to grant the commercial loan.
The Program is designed to verify cases where BMW AF customers entered into a commercial loan between 01 January 2011 and 31 March 2018 but may not have used the vehicle for commercial (business or investment) purposes. To make this assessment we will need to gather information on how the vehicle was used based on information included in your tax return/s.
Should BMW AF conclude that the vehicle was not used mainly for a business or investment purpose, we may pay you a benefit under our CLR Program. If your loan is still open, such a payment may take the form of a credit to your account. Whether we pay you a benefit or not, if we conclude that your vehicle was not used mainly for a business or investment purpose, we would agree to modify certain rights and obligations going forward to reflect those under a comparable consumer loan.
Who is out of scope?
You will be out of scope for this program if any of the following apply:
Based on the information we have (including what you provided before the loan was granted) and the Program parameters, we form the view that the use of the vehicle was primarily for business or investment purposes;
Your loan contract is in the name of a business/company/trust;
Your vehicle lease was one under which the vehicle was leased in connection with your employee remuneration or other employment benefits, i.e. a novated lease; or
You did not enter into your commercial loan contract with BMW AF between 01 January 2011 and 31 March 2018.
If you are out of scope of this program BMW AF is nonetheless committed to assisting you with any inquiries you may have about your commercial loan.
What is a commercial loan?
A commercial loan is a loan, hire purchase or lease facility that BMW AF provided to an individual in the belief it was primarily for business or investment purposes.
(Please note: This is what the term means when we use it in connection with this Program. It is not a general definition or a definition that applies under statute.)
What is a consumer loan?
A consumer loan is a loan or lease facility that is primarily for personal, domestic or household use that is provided by BMW AF to an individual. This does not include cases where the vehicle was leased in connection with employee remuneration or other employment benefits, i.e. a novated lease.
(Please note: this is what the term means when we use it in connection with this Program. It is not a general definition or a definition that applies under statute.)
Why is my BMW AF loan contract classified as a commercial loan?
The loan contract classification was based on information you provided at the time of your loan application in relation to the intended primary use of the loan facility or vehicle, e.g. you may have provided a Business Purpose Declaration and/or letter from your accountant or other supporting documentation indicating that the facility or vehicle would be used mainly for business or investment purposes.
What happens if I meet the criteria for a benefit under this Program?
Should BMW AF conclude that the vehicle was not used mainly for business or investment purposes, we may pay you a benefit under our CLR Program if there was a difference in the interest you paid under your loan versus what you would have paid under a comparable consumer loan. If your loan is still open, such a payment may take the form of a credit to your account. Whether we pay you a benefit or not, if we conclude that your vehicle was not used mainly for a business or investment purpose, we would agree to modify certain rights and obligations going forward to reflect those under a comparable consumer loan.
By way of example, these may include:
A reduction in the interest you would be charged if you were to pay out the commercial loan early;
A waiver of certain of your contractual obligations that are inconsistent with a consumer loan; and
Access to BMW AF’s hardship and internal and/or external dispute resolution services.
If I am offered a benefit under this program, does this mean I should have been placed into a consumer loan instead of a commercial loan?
Not necessarily. For instance, due to how the program is designed, some customers will be offered redress under the program even though BMW AF did in fact make sufficient enquiries before deciding to grant a commercial loan. In these cases, for instance, it would have been appropriate to grant a commercial loan.
How long will the review process take and what is involved?
The time taken will vary as each review is conducted on a case by case basis. At this stage, we envisage completing the reviews and finalising the program by the end of 2018.
Your assessment will commence after you register for the program and BMW AF has received all relevant information pertaining to vehicle use, i.e. a copy of all required tax documents (lodged tax return and Notice of Assessment) for the first two years of your loan. For example, if you signed the loan agreement on 01/01/2014, please send us your June 2014 and June 2015 tax documents. Please ensure you remove or blackout your Tax File Number (TFN) before sending these documents to us.
Please note, if there is a joint borrower on your loan, we can only finalise our assessment on receiving all relevant tax documents from all borrowers.
If the information provided for vehicle use is unclear or incomplete, a BMW AF team member may call you to discuss, or to ask for further information.
Why has it taken so long for the BMW AF Commercial Loan Review Program to commence?
BMW AF has had to consider some complex issues in deciding how to design the program in a way that is fair to our customers, yet relatively straightforward to administer. We believe we have now achieved these goals with the program parameters, and are now in a position to start the Commercial Loan Review Program. We apologise for the delay and will do our best to assess your loan contract in a timely manner.
How can I grant authority to BMW AF to release loan information to a third party? *
If you are unable to deal directly with us in relation to this program, you may grant authority to a third party. If you do grant authority, we will deal with your nominated third party as if they were you, including by disclosing relevant information about your loan and circumstances to that third party. To grant authority, you must sign a BMW AF Third Party Authority (TPA) form in the presence of an adult who is not a party to the loan and who also signs the form as a witness. The form can be sent to you directly upon your request via email to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*We encourage those who are an Executor of a Deceased Estate to contact us via telephone on 1800 319 468 to discuss loan disclosure requirements.
What if I disagree with the outcome of the BMW AF Commercial Loan Review Program?
You can tell us you disagree and we will escalate your case to a senior manager for further review and re-assessment.
To do this you can contact us on 1800 319 468.
If you are dissatisfied with the further review and re-assessment, we invite you to speak with the BMW AF Internal Dispute Resolutions Department, who can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 03 9264 4492 between the hours of 8am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)
If you remain dissatisfied, you may wish to escalate the matter to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), as follows:
- Phone: 1800 931 678 (free call)
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: Australian Financial Complaints Authority, GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
For information about the AFCA, please refer to their website at www.afca.org.au.
Do I still need to make repayments on my loan while I am being considered for the BMW AF Commercial Loan Review Program?
Yes, if payments fall due under your current commercial loan it is important that you continue to pay them even whilst participating in the CLR Program. All terms and conditions of your loan will continue to apply unless we write to you advising you otherwise.
You can contact our Collections Team for payment arrangements by calling 03 9264 4490 between the hours of 8.30am and 5.30pm AEST from Monday – Friday (excluding Public Holidays) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you are experiencing financial difficulties and need some assistance please contact our hardship team by calling 03 9264 4118 between the hours of 8.30am and 5.30pm AEST from Monday – Friday (excluding Public Holidays) or by emailing email@example.com).
How do I contact BMW AF if I would like to participate in the Commercial Loan Review Program?
Registration for the Program has closed.