Regulator news and government inquiries

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Australia’s leading consumer groups will join forces in Canberra today to call on the Federal Government to strengthen our laws to stop irresponsible, harmful lending practices in our financial services sector. “Irresponsible lending and crippling debt are having a real, devastating impact on Australians, putting people at risk of bankruptcy, homelessness and life-long debt,” says…

Read More Fair Finance Day of Action

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NBN Co has recently announced changes to wholesale prices charged to retail service providers (RSPs) from October 2018. These changes mean consumers can expect to pay higher prices to access NBN services. At the same time consumers can expect to have an improved experience as congestion in the network is addressed through greater dedication of…

Read More ACCAN’s Analysis of NBN Co’s recently announced Pricing Changes

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Telco consumers can expect a better complaints-handling experience under a new industry standard and record-keeping rules announced today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). This is the first tranche of new rules announced by the ACMA in December 2017 to improve consumers’ experience in migrating to the National Broadband Network (NBN). The ACMA’s actions follow its industry information-gathering exercise and its…

Read More ACMA rules kick in on telco complaints

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ASIC is warning consumers about companies that claim they can fix a poor credit rating. ASIC is running a month-long campaign, with other Commonwealth, state and territory agencies, to help consumers understand that by using credit repair and debt management firms they may end up paying high fees. Consumers should be aware these companies often…

Read More ASIC warns consumers about paying high fees for credit repair and debt advice services

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Consumer group CHOICE welcomes the Federal Budget measures that will make superannuation insurance opt-in, auto-reunite people with lost accounts and ban exit fees. “Making insurance in super opt-in rather than opt-out for people who are at greatest risk of being fleeced will make a huge difference to the retirement savings of millions of Australians,” says CHOICE…

Read More Welcome Budget boost for Super

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CHOICE is launching canisaveonenergy.com.au to help people tap into hundreds of dollars in electricity savings. “We’ve decided to intervene in the electricity market and cut out the commercial switching sites which are paid by energy companies to sell their products,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey. “Unfortunately, the electricity market has been stitched up by cosy…

Read More Can I save on energy?

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The following is a media release from The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation The Turnbull Government is today announcing a new national body to oversee access to Government-held data as part of a suite of reforms recommended by the Productivity Commission. The reforms, costing $65 million over the next…

Read More Government responds to Productivity Commission Inquiry into data availability and use

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Today the Federal Government announced that there will be tougher penalties for corporate misconduct, and stronger powers for the corporate regulator ASIC. The Federal Government  has agreed or agreed-in-principle to every recommendation made in the ASIC Enforcement Taskforce final report that was finalised in December 2017. Company directors will now face up to 10 years’…

Read More Jail time for corporate crooks needed to clean up finance sector

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ACCAN is alarmed that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have increased by 28.7 percent in the six months to December 2017, compared to the same time the previous year. The peak Australian telecommunications consumer body says the TIO’s latest statistics reinforce the need for urgent industry action to put customers first. “Continuing high numbers of complaints shine a…

Read More Continuing rise in telco complaints shows need for urgent reforms

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 ACCC has today published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues. Much has changed since the ACCC published its draft report in October 2017. Since then, the ACCC has secured eight court-enforceable undertakings from various internet service providers on NBN speeds,…

Read More ACCC finalises report on communications market