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To use an American phrase – it seems like a “no brainer”. Consumer groups from around Australia are calling on the Federal Government to cap interest rates at 48%. This cap is currently in place in three jurisdictions: New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. However credit legislation is now a Federal Government responsibility; whether…

Read More 48% is Enough: Keep the Cap!

ASIC released a consultation paper 28 July 2011 proposing new guidance for people who give (financial) advice to retail clients. This builds on ASIC Regulatory Guide 200 Access to advice for super fund members (RG 200) and ASIC’s Report 224 Access to Financial Advice in Australia (REP 224) in December 2010. This report found that…

Read More ASIC consultation paper on guidance for financial advisers – comment due 8 September 2011

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CFA member Financial Counselling Australia today released the results of a survey of financial counsellors about their clients’ experiences with 1800 and 13/1300 numbers. Nearly every financial counsellor (98%) reported clients who have difficulty contacting services that use 1800 or 13 numbers due to the cost of the call from their mobiles. At the May…

Read More Financial counselling clients suffer from timed 1800 calls

The Mutual Banking Code of Practice sets out standards of good practice for credit unions and mutual building societies. The Code Compliance Committee (CCC) has a new  Executive Manager, and is conducting a number of reviews. This update also sets out current governance and investigation arrangements and provides information about this years’ annual compliance statements.…

Read More What’s new with the Mutual Banking Code of Practice Code Compliance Committee?

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The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) has produced an issues paper on Sharing of repair information in the automotive industry. The terms of reference for this review deal with consumer detriment potentially caused by the practice of manufacturers and importers failing to share information  wth independent repairers of motor vehicles. For further information and…

Read More Sharing information in the automotive industry

ASIC has successfully completed the major initial licensing of consumer credit businesses as part of the transition to the new national consumer credit laws. ASIC Commissioner, Peter Boxall, said only licensed people or businesses can carry on consumer credit activities now. ‘If you are getting credit or getting advice or assistance on credit make sure…

Read More ASIC refuses four applications for credit licenses and puts conditions on others

On 1 July ASIC announced that it had commenced criminal proceedings against officers of the Wespoint companies for breaches of the corporations act. In a separate matter Rundle was found guilty by a Sydney jury of making misleading statements to a financial institution in support of a $71 million credit facility to fund a Westpoint…

Read More Westpoint and other recent ASIC enforcement actions

Are you having trouble with your bank, struggling to pay bills or having problems with your landlord? Come along to the Alice Springs ‘Know Your Rights Expo’ on 17 August. Experts will be there from ASIC’s MoneySmart, Legal Aid, Consumer Affairs, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service. The expo is being held…

Read More Alice Springs consumer rights expo

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CFA has backed the call for the communications regulator ACMA to act to stop the unfair discrimination against mobile phone users in relation to 1800, 1300 and 13 numbers. CFA’s short submission to the ACMA Numbering Project supported CFA member ACCAN’s call for ACMA to consider how it can facilitate social inclusion and achieve broad…

Read More CFA calls on ACMA to stop phone number discrimination

The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, in consultation with a working group of representatives from Commonwealth, state and territory health departments, has prepared an issues paper on the proposed establishment and implementation of a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system.  The PCEHR is intended to be a secure, electronic record of an individual’s medical history, stored and…

Read More Call for comments on electronic health records system

The Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is holding an inquiry into the insurance industry with specific reference to extreme weather and disaster events. Submissions will be accepted until Friday 12 August 2011, with the exception of submissions from Western Australia, which are requested by Friday 22 July 2011, as the Committee will…

Read More Operation of the insurance industry during disaster events – Commonwealth inquiry