Finance

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The following is a guest post from Denise Boyd, winner of CFA’s inaugural prize for the most impressive piece of consumer advocacy or research presented during the Soapbox session at this year’s National Consumer Congress. If we think about memorable advertising slogans, and the campaigns behind them, what is it about them that made them effective? Dumb…

Read More Inaugural CFA Soapbox Prizewinner – Watch Your Nuts!

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Today the Federal Government announced that there will be tougher penalties for corporate misconduct, and stronger powers for the corporate regulator ASIC. The Federal Government  has agreed or agreed-in-principle to every recommendation made in the ASIC Enforcement Taskforce final report that was finalised in December 2017. Company directors will now face up to 10 years’…

Read More Jail time for corporate crooks needed to clean up finance sector

Ruby Hutchison Ruby Hutchison

The following is an edited extract of the 2018 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture, presented by Fiona Guthrie AM, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Australia. The annual lecture is a CHOICE and ACCC co-project. Queensland’s Courier Mail recently ran a front-page story about payday loans. It told the story of Trina Begg, a single mother of…

Read More Fiona Guthrie AM presents 2018 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture

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Consumer Action Law Centre, CHOICE and NSW Legal Aid today published submissions in response to the first round of hearings before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector on consumer lending and add-on insurance. Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) argues in its submission that directors of the big banks may…

Read More Consumer Groups call for tougher penalties, ban on broker commissions in submissions to Royal Commission

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The financial counselling sector has today released its third annual Rank the Banks survey and it contains both bouquets and brickbats. Nearly 300 financial counsellors were surveyed for their views on how the banking industry is responding to customers in financial hardship. Financial counsellors were also asked for the first time to rank the hardship practices of…

Read More ‘Rank the Banks’ survey results released

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On 15th February, a package of reforms to improve credit card lending and marketing practices passed Federal Parliament. Consumer advocacy groups Consumer Action Law Centre and CHOICE are relieved to see the important reforms finally enacted after a long consultation process. The reforms will: require affordability assessments to be based on a person’s ability to…

Read More Credit card reforms long overdue

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In its submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, CHOICE has called on the Commission to use its special powers to compel banks, insurers and lenders to provide evidence behind high fees and harmful practices. “CHOICE is calling for the Royal Commission to use its powers to…

Read More Call for banks to provide reasons behind harmful practices

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Consumer Action Law Centre has published part 2 of its submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector. The submission draws on the experience of the Centre assisting Victorians through legal advice and representation, and financial counselling. The submission identifies various drivers of misconduct or conduct falling below community standards and expectations,…

Read More Consumer Action Law Centre: Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector, part 2

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Consumer Action Law Centre has published part 1 of its initial submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector today. The submission draws on the experience of the Centre assisting Victorians through legal advice and representation, and financial counselling. The submission identifies various kinds of misconduct by financial services,…

Read More Consumer Action Law Centre: Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector, part 1

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Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) welcomes today’s announcement from the ACCC that they will continue to allow the banking industry to subsidise privately provided ATMs in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The ACCC needs to authorise this arrangement as its collective nature means it would otherwise breach Australia’s competition laws. At a time when…

Read More FCA welcomes ACCC determination extending fee-free ATMs in Remote Communities

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Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) welcomes the Government’s proposals to curb gambling advertising on radio and television. Although a complete ban on advertising is preferable, the Government’s plan to prohibit gambling advertising during live sports events between 5:00am and 8:30pm is a step in the right direction. We are alarmed, however, that the broadcast industry is…

Read More Proposed curbs on gambling advertising a good first step

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The Turnbull Government will legislate a national Consumer Data Right, allowing customers open access to their banking, energy, phone and internet transactions. Australians will be able to compare offers, get access to cheaper products and plans to help them ‘make the switch’ and get greater value for money. Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus…

Read More Australians to own their own data