Financial Counselling

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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…

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

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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…

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