Contracts for difference – CFDs – are risky financial products that should not be marketed to ordinary retail investors in CFA’s opinion. CFD’s are not ordinary shares and significantly magnify the risks of investing. CFA has welcomed ASIC’s release of new disclosure benchmarks for CFDs that aim to improve disclosure and investor awareness about risks…

Read More CFA welcomes ASIC action on Contracts for Difference (CFD)

ASIC has taken action against Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd following complaints from consumers about harassment. Among the complaints were concerns regarding unduly frequent contact with debtors, contact with third parties, inappropriate and aggressive phonecalls and inadequate internal dispute resolution policies and procedures. ASIC spokesperson, Greg Kirk, said: ‘Creditors and debt collectors can’t behave in a…

Read More Action on debt collection complaints

Credit Card Chip Credit Card Chip

The Federal Parliament has recently enacted new consumer credit legislation that, among other things, bans credit card over-the-limit fees. This is a significant win for consumers, and follows the Fair Fees campaign from CFA members Consumer Action Law Centre and CHOICE. The Fair Fees campaign sought the removal of, and/or reduction in, a range of…

Read More Credit card penalty fee win for consumers

ASIC has released proposals for modifying the training requirements for credit representatives who provide credit assistance to consumers on home loans. The proposals address some recent industry concern about the training requirements. ASIC believes the proposals strike an appropriate balance between the interests of confident and informed financial consumers and the regulatory obligations of market…

Read More ASIC considering changes to home lending training requirements

Rod Sims ACCC Chair Rod Sims ACCC Chair

Rod Sims, the Chair of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in NSW, expressed his support for better consumer engagement in regulatory decisions and said more funding was required to help consumers participate. He noted that this was a challenge he will carry into his new role as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair,…

Read More Incoming ACCC Chair supports better funded consumer advocacy

The ISO is the International Organisation for Standardisation, a worldwide federation of national standards bodies.  The work of preparing international standards is normally carried out through ISO Technical Committees.  The ISO has many technical committees (TCs) and TC 229 deals with nanotechnologies, the application of scientific knowledge to manipulate and control matter in the nanoscale.…

Read More Nanotechnology and ISO

Shane Tregilis Shane Tregilis

The Financial Ombudsman Service has today announced the appointment of Shane Tregilliss as the new Chief Ombudsman. Mr Tregillis will commence in the role in September 2011. The Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service Michael Lavarch noted that the appointment was made following the decision of the current long serving Ombudsman Colin Neave not to…

Read More New Financial Services Ombudsman appointed

After a year-long inquiry telco customer service and complaints-handling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its draft [ilink url=”http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_312222″]Reconnecting the Customer[/ilink] (RTC) report in early June 2011. It is a well considered report based on extensive evidence-based research.  Five research reports commissioned by the ACMA were launched at the same time. The ACMA’s…

Read More Time’s up on telco self-regulation: ACMA to act

The South Australian Financial Counselling Association’s (SAFCA) 2011 Conference The Evolving Landscape of Financial Counselling will be held on 26 and 27 September at the Rydges South Park Hotel, Adelaide.  Speakers include Dennis Nelthorpe – West Heidelberg Community Legal Service Kat Lane – Consumer Credit Legal Service NSW Mark Henley – Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide…

Read More The Evolving Landscape of Financial Counselling

CFA member CHOICE is calling for better regulation of pesticides and hazardous chemicals. More than 80 chemicals and pesticides no longer registered for use in Europe are available for every day agricultural and veterinary use in Australia. If that’s not alarming enough, about 75% were included in our current system 15 years ago as a…

Read More Better regulation for pesticides and hazardous chemicals

Australian money - $2 coins Australian money - $2 coins

To use an American phrase – it seems like a “no brainer”. Consumer groups from around Australia are calling on the Federal Government to cap interest rates at 48%. This cap is currently in place in three jurisdictions: New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. However credit legislation is now a Federal Government responsibility; whether…

Read More 48% is Enough: Keep the Cap!