Privacy & Security

Our privacy assurance to you

At Rural Building Company your privacy has always been important to us. We comply with the National Privacy Principles (new privacy laws which apply from 21 December 2001).

This policy and other privacy statements

This privacy policy explains how we collect personal information and how we maintain, use and disclose that information. It also provides some detail about your privacy rights along with our general rights and obligations and our policy in relation to the personal information we keep on record.

When you purchase a new home or service, the application form includes notices about privacy and requests for consent. Those privacy notices (called privacy statements) specify in more detail how any information about you may be used and disclosed in relation to the particular product or service.

When you consider purchasing or using our services, you consent to us collecting, maintaining, using and disclosing personal information about you and provided by you or by another person in accordance with the privacy statement in the application form and this policy.

This privacy policy does not apply to parties that may be linked or associated with our website. Those website owners are responsible for the privacy of the information they collect and should be contacted directly for details of their privacy policies.

What information does Rural Building Company hold?

The types of information we keep on record will depend on the type of product or service requested by you.

Generally, we keep a record of one or more of the following types of information about you:

  •  information that identifies you, such as your name and address and other information provided by you and people nominated by you;
  • if you apply for a loan, credit information about you and property reports about any property which secures your obligations to us.

All information sought is required for our business purposes, which are detailed generally in this privacy policy and more specifically in our application forms or on the web pages which allow you to contact us.

We do not actively seek to collect sensitive information (for example information about your racial or ethnic origin or any criminal record), unless it is necessary for our business purposes. If we do have to collect sensitive information, we will do so in accordance with the National Privacy Principles.

During the course of our relationship with you, we may gather information about you relating to all products and services that we or other members of the Rural Building Company or our preferred suppliers provide to you. This information is used to help us form views about how we can improve our relationship with you.

How Rural Building Company collects information from its website

We collect and hold information about you when you:

  • complete an online form;
  • provide us with your email address; or
  • access and use our services through our website.

We also collect some statistical information about visitors, from our website (for example, the number of visitors, pages viewed, time online and documents downloaded). Some of this statistical information is collected by using cookies, but none of the statistical information we collect allows us to identify a visitor. We use this information to evaluate our website performance and continually improve our services.

Other than statistical information, we do not collect any information about you through our website unless you provide the information to us.

How Rural Building Company generally collects your information

Generally, we only collect personal information about you from you, unless it is not reasonable or practical for us to do so or you consent. For example, you may authorise us to collect information from a third party, like your employer to confirm your income details, or we may engage an agent, such as a mortgage broker, to collect information on our behalf, or you may be named as a referee or beneficiary in another application for one of our products or services. We may also collect information about you from other members of the Rural Building Company or from publicly available sources such as company registers or land title registries.

How may Rural Building Company use your personal information?

We use your personal information to:

  • respond to your request or help us process your application for our products or services (including performing the identity check required by the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 where necessary); and
  • ensure our internal business operations are running smoothly which may include fulfilling legal requirements and conducting confidential systems maintenance and testing.

When we request your information we may give more specific details about the way we use your information.

What rights does Rural Building Company have to disclose personal information?

Usually we must get your consent before we tell anyone about you. You can give us your consent expressly or it may be implied by your conduct.

Sometimes the law requires us to give out information about you. For example, we may be required by the Australian Tax Office or Centrelink to disclose information about you. Another example is giving your personal details to a court if we are ordered to do so under a subpoena.

Depending on the product or service that we provide to you, if it is necessary we may also disclose your personal information to:

  • any organisation which you request us to or any persons acting on your behalf, including your financial adviser, broker, solicitor, or accountant – unless you tell us not to.
  •  Any referees, any person with whom you transact (for example merchants, to process your transactions) or any financial institution nominated by you (for example in direct debit).

We may at other times give you more details about our disclosure practices in relation to specific products or services – for example on the forms we use to collect personal information about you.

How may Rural Building Company use your personal information?

Your personal information may also be used by us or other members of the Rural Building Company to help assess your total relationship and product holding within the Rural Building Company, analyse products and services, evaluate the needs of our customers and develop new products.

Unless you inform us or have previously told us not to, we may also provide access to your personal information to members of the Rural Building Company to inform you of products and services offered by any member of the Rural Building Company or preferred organisations which we think may be of interest or value to you.

How Rural Building Company protects the security of your information

We take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

We provide the maximum level of security when you use our online products and services.

We have physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your information which is held by us. For example, your personal information is stored in secured office premises, in electronic databases requiring logins and passwords for access. Access to information stored electronically is restricted to staff whose job purpose requires access. We require all staff to maintain the confidentiality of customer information.

Any visitor, for any purpose, to any part of our premises in which customer personal information is kept is required to register with a security desk or be accompanied by a member of staff while in the premises.

We use secure methods to destroy or de-identify any personal information as soon as the law permits, provided the information is no longer needed by us for any purpose. Ordinarily, for information about a particular product or service provided to you, we destroy the information seven years from the date we supply you with the product or service.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We may amend this policy from time to time. Not all changes to our privacy policy will require your consent, for example where office security procedures are changed. We will notify you of any change to our information handling policy that requires your consent before being implemented.

What are your rights?

You need not give us any of the personal information about you or any other person which may be requested in our communications with you. However, without that information, we may not be able to process an application, fulfil your request or provide you with an appropriate level of service.

Information about our Products and Services

If you do not want the benefit of receiving information, special offers or exclusive opportunities about products and services (which may be supplied by us or any member of the Rural Building Company or preferred suppliers) which we think may be of interest or value to you, then please tell us. You can do this at any time by writing to us (either via traditional post or e-mail) or telephoning us at the contact details listed on our contact us page.

Access to your information

You can request access at any time to personal information we hold about you. We will process your request within a reasonable time, usually 14 days for a straightforward request. More time may be needed, depending on the nature of the request.

There is no fee for requesting access to your information, however we may charge you the reasonable cost of processing your request.

Sometimes we are not required to provide you with access – for example, if the law says we can deny access. If we refuse you access to your personal information, we will tell you the reason why. If we are not required to provide you with access to the information requested, we will consider, if reasonable, whether the use of a mutually agreed intermediary would allow sufficient access to meet your needs and ours.

Correction of information

We try to ensure that all information we hold about you which we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. You must promptly notify us if there are any changes to your personal information.

You may ask us at any time to correct personal information held by us about you, which you believe is incorrect or out of date. We will deal with your request within a reasonable time.

If we disagree as to the accuracy of the information, you may request that we attach a statement to that information noting that you consider it is not accurate, complete or up to date.

If there is anything you would like to discuss, please contact us.

In this policy, reference to “we/us” means each member of the Rural Building Company. Members of the Rural Building Company may change from time to time. If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about our privacy policy or practices or would like more information about particular members’ privacy policies or practices, please contact us.

We will try to answer any questions you may have, correct any error on our part or resolve any complaint that you may have about our information handling practices. If we do not resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, you also have the right to complain to the Privacy Commissioner. We will provide you with the Commission contact details if required.