Finance

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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

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Customers continue to be frustrated by bank staff providing incorrect information about cancellation of direct debits, according to two separate reports released by the Banking Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (BCCMC) and the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (COBCCC) respectively. The BCCMC report found that more than half (54%) of bank staff tested gave customers…

Read More Banks Continue to Provide Incorrect Information about Direct Debit Cancellation

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Financial Counselling Australia welcomes funding of $7.4 million in yesterday’s WA State budget to reinstate and expand financial counselling services. Financial counsellors work in community organisations, providing advice to people struggling with bills and debt. In a tight budgetary environment, the funding is a clear recognition by the WA government that investing in preventative services…

Read More Financial Counselling Australia WA Funding for Financial Services

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It has been eighteen months since the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) warned the Federal Government that so-called “debt management” firms are engaging in misleading and predatory conduct. The Consumer Action Law Centre wrote to the Federal Government shortly afterwards, calling for better regulation in the sector, but have yet to receive a response.…

Read More Federal Government Silent on Debt Vulture Warnings

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce is conducting consultations on a number of proposed reforms to improve the enforcement powers of ASIC. The Taskforce  has just released a series of consultation papers. Recent media reports and Parliamentary inquiries have revealed the impact that poor financial services practices have on people’s lives, leading to intense regulatory scrutiny and reduced consumer confidence. One of the key…

Read More ASIC Taskforce Signals Shift from Self-Regulation in Finance Industry

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‘Independent’, ‘independently owned’, ‘non-aligned’ – financial advisers use a variety of terms to promise a lack of conflict of interest. But what do these terms mean? And what is required before an adviser can lawfully use them? ASIC has clarified its position on the use of restricted terms relating to the independence of financial advisers after seeking…

Read More ‘Independent’ Means Independent – ASIC Clarifies Financial Adviser Terms

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Financial Rights has today called on the general insurance industry to introduce a set of best practice standards for insurance investigations in its Code of Practice. This follows the release of the report titled Investigation of Claims and Outsourced Services by the insurance industry’s independent monitor – the General Insurance Code Governance Committee (CGC). The…

Read More Insurance Industry Must Act to Stamp Out Poor Investigation Practices

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The Australian Banker’s Association (ABA) response to the Independent Review of the Code of Banking Practice (Khoury Review) is a positive start, but consumer advocates say there are some missed opportunities for the banking industry. Advocates say improving responsible lending assessments and making it easier to cancel credit cards will help Australians have a better…

Read More Progress on banking code, but missed opportunities too: consumer advocates

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Consumer groups call for the Federal Government to take immediate action to protect payday loan and lease borrowers The Consumers Federation of Australia, CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) and Good Shepherd Microfinance are calling for the Federal Government to immediately introduce legislation to better protect borrowers of toxic loans and leases and increase funding to financial counselling…

Read More 120 Day Delay Inflicting Greater Payday Pain

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CFA members CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Rights Legal Centre are calling on the federal government to act on conflicted remuneration in the mortgage market following an ASIC report that found widespread conflicts of interest for brokers and bank staff have led to an aggressive sales culture and poor outcomes for borrowers.[1] Quotes…

Read More Mortgage broker mayhem