Finance

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A new online tool launched today means Australians can see how their insurer, bank, financial adviser, superannuation fund or other financial firm has responded to consumer complaints brought to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).  In a move designed to increase transparency and consumer education, AFCA has today released its comparative reporting tool, the Datacube.…

Read More AFCA’s new ‘Datacube’ enables Australians to see how Financial Firms are handling Complaints

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Consumers facing financial difficulties are urged to exercise caution when approached by budget and debt management companies that charge fees for their services. Complaints have been received by Consumer Protection from consumers who claim that they are charged fees for services, which were not delivered and some have signed contracts without realising that this would…

Read More Caution urged when engaging budget and debt management services

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Australians in dispute with their bank, insurance provider, super fund, or other financial firms have lodged 73,000 complaints with the financial sector’s new ombudsman and have been awarded $185 million in compensation, in the first 12 months of its operation. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is today celebrating 12 months since it opened its…

Read More $185 million in compensation awarded to consumers in AFCA’s first 12 months

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CHOICE research has discovered that Australians purchasing some Silver Plus health insurance policies are losing hundreds of dollars every year. The research follows CHOICE slamming the industry for rip-off Basic policies earlier this year. “Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies,” says Dean Price, Health Campaigner at CHOICE. “We’ve found over 215 Silver…

Read More Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies

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The Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (the Committee) has released its Annual Review 2018–19. This year’s Annual Review highlights a number of key areas where insurance brokers need to make significant improvements, for the sake of the industry and their clients. A snapshot of the key findings reveals that: The number of self-reported Code breaches increased…

Read More Review finds insurance brokers need to take their Code obligations more seriously

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The Code Governance Committee (the Committee), has launched its website insurancecode.org.au. The Committee’s website is an independent resource for consumers, small business and Code subscribers that will be periodically updated with news about its work and publications. The Committee’s website includes: information about the Committee and what it does, the Code and Code subscribers information…

Read More General Insurance Code Governance Committee launches website

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The Financial Rights Legal Centre has called on the life insurance sector to clean up its act following the release of a damning report by ASIC into Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claims in both direct life insurance and life insurance in superannuation. The report, Holes in the safety net: A Review of TPD insurance claims, found…

Read More Total and Permanent Disability Cover – a total mess

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The Federal Government has directed the ACCC to immediately commence an inquiry into home loan pricing. The ACCC is to investigate a wide range of issues ranging from the rates paid by new vs existing customers, how the cost of financing for banks has affected bank decisions on interest rates, and why RBA cuts aren’t always…

Read More ACCC commences pricing transparency inquiry for home loans

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A report released by the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (the Committee) has found that insurance brokers who subscribe to the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice (the Code) need to reduce the length of time they take to respond to and resolve complaints if they are to build and maintain consumer trust in the sector.…

Read More Insurance brokers must do better for consumers when it comes to handling complaints

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ASIC has warned Australian investors considering establishing their own self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) to be particularly aware of the potential downside to such a strategy, and that many Australians set up SMSFs that are inappropriate for their circumstances. ASIC has identified eight ‘red flag’ situations which, together or in part, would make it extremely unlikely…

Read More ASIC urges consumers to question whether SMSFs are right for them

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Consumer advocate CHOICE has welcomed draft laws to reform the mortgage broking industry by introducing a duty for brokers to act in their clients’ best interests but called for the government to remove loopholes that would harm consumers. CHOICE says that if done well, this reform will unleash greater price competition in the home loan…

Read More “Loud wake-up call for the problem-plagued mortgage broking industry”: CHOICE

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The new Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) will monitor banks’ compliance with the 2019 Banking Code of Practice (the Code). The BCCC will work with banks and stakeholders to ensure that the high standards of service and other promises made to customers through the Code are embedded and adhered to by the 19 banking groups that subscribe…

Read More New Banking Code Compliance Committee open for business