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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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The Queensland Consumers Association says householders experiencing difficulty paying high power bills caused by keeping cool during the sweltering summer should contact their power retailer as soon as possible. Association spokesperson, Ian Jarratt, says many power bills received, or those yet to arrive, will be well above normal due to the use of power guzzling…

Read More Consumers unable to pay high power bills advised to contact their retailer early

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The Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims says 2017 will see its enforcement teams hone in on misleading and deceptive practices, anti-competitive conduct and unfair contract terms affecting small businesses. Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in Sydney today, Mr Sims launched the ACCC’s 2017 Compliance…

Read More ACCC names key enforcement and compliance priorities for 2017

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CFA member Energy Consumers Australia has published the results of its second bi-annual survey of the attitudes and activity of household and small business energy consumers. Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said the survey of 2,300 consumers, undertaken during August and September 2016, showed that energy consumers are seeing mixed results. “As we found…

Read More Consumers left wanting more from energy retail markets

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Getting problems with your bank, insurance or finance company solved fairly and quickly is too hard and Australia needs a one-stop-shop ombudsman for financial service problems, say leading consumer advocates. In a submission endorsed by eight consumer organisations provided to the Ramsay Review into External Dispute Resolution in the banking and finance sector, advocates have…

Read More Australians need a one-stop-shop ombudsman to deal with banking & finance complaints

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In its Pre-Budget Submission for the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has urged the Federal Government to allocate funding to telecommunications initiatives that will benefit consumers. ACCAN’s recommendations include ongoing funding for the Mobile Black Spot Program, ongoing funding to ensure that the Universal Service Obligation (USO) continues until new safeguards…

Read More ACCAN urges Government to allocate budget funds to mobile expansion, USO and broadband monitoring

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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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Veda Advantage Information Services and Solutions Ltd (Veda) is being forced to refund thousands of consumers who paid to obtain credit reports under Veda’s expedited delivery deal, according to a decision handed down today by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner found that Veda breached a series of privacy rules when they: charged for “expedited…

Read More Veda to refund consumers after breaching privacy rules

Elaine Attwood, a CFA representative on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Packing Advisory Group recently attended the 5th meeting this December. The meeting involved discussion around FSANZ’s conclusions following the first Call for Submissions made. Members within the meeting heard on the issues raised within the submissions. Whilst submissions were minimal, the general caliber…

Read More CFA representative attends FSANZ Packing Advisory Group meeting

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Consumers’ Federation of Australia is seeking a volunteer consumer representative for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Consumer Advisory Panel. CAP was established in 1999. CAP advises ASIC on current issues faced by retail investors and consumers in the financial services and credit industries. CAP also informs ASIC’s surveillance, enforcement, policy and financial education…

Read More ASIC CAP Applications Open

In October this year, the Australian Senate created the Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World. The purpose of the committee is to examine the current role of various storage technologies and localised distributed generation to provide Australia’s electricity networks, and assessing their resilience in withstanding the growing intensity and frequency…

Read More CFA asked to prepare submission for Senate on electrical infrastructure resilience