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Australians need a one-stop-shop ombudsman to deal with banking & finance complaints

Getting problems with your bank, insurance or finance company solved fairly and quickly is too hard and Australia needs a one-stop-shop ombudsman for financial service problems, say leading consumer advocates. In a submission endorsed by eight consumer organisations provided to the Ramsay Review into External Dispute Resolution in the banking and finance sector, advocates have […]

Financial Counsellors Welcome “Better Banking” … but Where’s the Funding for Financial Counselling?

Financial counsellors welcome today’s commitment by the banking industry to better banking, including making financial hardship support programs more accessible and setting up a debt repayment service. But the big question remains: why is there still no funding for financial counselling? Most of the clients seen by financial counsellors have debts with banks, yet the […]

Veda to refund consumers after breaching privacy rules

Veda Advantage Information Services and Solutions Ltd (Veda) is being forced to refund thousands of consumers who paid to obtain credit reports under Veda’s expedited delivery deal, according to a decision handed down today by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner found that Veda breached a series of privacy rules when they: charged for “expedited […]

Victims of financial scandals need simple justice – response to Ramsay EDR Review

Following the slew of financial scandals Australians have faced in recent years, consumer advocates say that Australians need simple and accessible justice with reformed Ombudsman services. The Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework (Ramsay Review), led by Professor Ian Ramsay, today released its interim report. In response to the review, […]

CHOICE welcomes inquiry into banking sector

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has welcomed the establishment of a Senate Inquiry that will examine cases of wrongdoing in the banking and financial services sector. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant. This inquiry gives us a chance to shine a light on the anti-consumer practices that are riddled throughout the banking system,” says CHOICE Head of […]

Financial Counselling Australia: Financial Counsellors Support Merger of FOS and CIO

Financial counsellors – who help hundreds of Australians with financial services disputes each year – have provided overwhelming support for the merger of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit & Investments Ombudsman into a one stop financial complaints ombudsman service. Seventy-five percent of financial counsellors that responded to a survey by Financial Counselling Australia […]

Financial Rights Legal Centre and Consumers Federation Australia publish submission to review Code of Banking Practice

Consumers Federation Australia (CFA) along with several consumer organisations have recently submitted a joint consumer representative submission to the Australian Banking Association. The ABA has resourced this 2016 submission, conducted as a collaborative effort between the CFA and the Financial Rights Legal Centre (FRLC). CFA and the FRLC engaged with the following consumer organisations who have […]

Is a banking tribunal really the answer?

Consumers Federation Australia along with the Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Rights Legal Centre and Financial Counselling Australia have written a letter to the Prime Minister, Minister for Financial Services and the Treasurer in response to announcements of the Federal Government possibly instituting a financial services tribunal. CFA, along with other signed organisations have raised […]

Consumer groups welcome a stronger ASIC

Consumer groups CHOICE and Consumer Action Law Centre welcome today’s announcement of new funding and powers to protect consumers of financial services. In 2014-15 ASIC’s budget was reduced by $120 million over four years, in addition to an efficiency dividend of $47 million over the same period.[i] “Today’s funding announcement is good news for Australians. […]