Financial Counselling

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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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