Finance

Post thumbnail

The following is a transcript of the keynote address presented by Fiona Guthrie AM, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Australia, at the ACCC 2019 National Consumer Congress. Reimagining the Corporation: Why we need to change the purpose of our biggest companies INTRODUCTION I am going to begin and end this speech in the same place. And that is…

Read More Reimagining the Corporation: Fiona Guthrie’s speech to the National Consumer Congress

Post thumbnail

The Systemic Insight “Sales Practices Driving Consumer Debt”, shares the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman’s recommendations on how providers could improve their selling practices to reduce consumer financial over-commitment and debt. The report makes practical recommendations in four areas that providers can adopt in selling post-paid plans and devices: Assessing a customer’s actual capacity to pay Training sales…

Read More Systemic Insight Report: Sales Practices Driving Consumer Debt

Post thumbnail

The Coalition Government has agreed to take action on all 76 recommendations contained in the Royal Commission’s Final Report and, in a number of important areas, is going further, including conducting an immediate review of financial counselling services. In his Final Report, Commissioner Hayne observed, “The desirability of predictable and stable funding for the legal…

Read More Going further with a financial counselling review

Consumer Advocates in Canberra for the release of the Royal Commission's final report

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has now concluded. The Final Report and the Government’s response was released to the general public on Monday afternoon, providing a road map for law reform that should deliver improved standards in the finance sector.  Many of the report’s 76 recommendations have been welcomed by consumer organisations including CHOICE, Consumer…

Read More Consumer groups respond to Royal Commission Final Report

Post thumbnail

Breaches of complaints standards by insurance companies more than doubled to 4,079 in 2017–18, according to an audit released today by the General Insurance Code Governance Committee (CGC). These breaches amount to more than one-third (35%) of the total Code breaches by subscribing insurers. The Independent Chair of the CGC, Lynelle Briggs AO, said consumer…

Read More Insurers wasting opportunities to learn from complaints

Post thumbnail

The NSW Government has launched a free online legal service to help people overcome mortgage pressure and settle rates debts with local councils without the stress of court proceedings, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced today.  The LawAccess NSW website now provides two interactive guided pathways to match people with the information they need to resolve…

Read More Free online pathways to solve legal problems

Post thumbnail

People will be hundreds of thousands of dollars worse off in retirement if the Federal Government doesn’t act now to stop the superannuation sector eroding savings. Today the Productivity Commission has released its plan to reverse the outdated structure that has led to poor performing funds, multiple accounts and zombie insurance policies. Fixing these problems…

Read More Advocates call for changes to superannuation sector

Post thumbnail

Today ASIC has released Report 604  Credit card lending in Australia – An update (REP 604), which sets out the changes being made by lenders to help consumers with credit card debt. In July 2018, ASIC released Report 580 Credit card lending in Australia (REP 580), which found more than one in six consumers is struggling with credit card debt. The…

Read More Lenders commit to improve credit card practices following ASIC review

Post thumbnail

Financial institutions who subscribe to a Code of Practice have obligations to consumers experiencing financial difficulty. The independent committees who monitor the Codes urge consumers to also be aware of these obligations. In 2018, financial difficulty was a particular focus of the committees, especially in the banking sphere where an inquiry found that customer requests…

Read More Codes of Practice and financial difficulty

Post thumbnail

Our health system should empower and support us to live happy and healthy lives. But increasingly, thousands of us are feeling frustrated by high-cost, low-value and overly complex health insurance policies. CHOICE research finds the majority of us don’t feel like we get value from our health insurance and are hit with high costs when…

Read More Fairer health insurance

Banks breached their Code of Banking Practice 10,123 times in 2017–18, according to a Banking Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) report released today. The CCMC said these self-reported breaches of the Banking Code affected more than 3.4 million people, costing them more than $95 million. However, these impacts are likely to be significantly understated. The number…

Read More Banks’ compliance, monitoring and reporting deficient, report finds

Post thumbnail

ASIC has released its first review of the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry. The review of this diverse and evolving market has found that buy now pay later arrangements are influencing the spending habits of consumers, especially younger consumers. A buy now pay later arrangement allows consumers to purchase and obtain goods and…

Read More ASIC puts spotlight on the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry