Regulator news and government inquiries

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The ACCC is highly conscious of the impact COVID-19 is having on Australian consumers and businesses, and has adjusted the focus of its regulatory activities accordingly. Most businesses are facing severe disruption, particularly small businesses, and the future is uncertain for many. The ACCC will factor these circumstances into its consideration of competition matters in…

Read More ACCC response to COVID-19 pandemic

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has urged the Federal Government to prioritise a specific stimulus strategy for telecommunications services to keep Australians connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing social distancing and self-isolation efforts have resulted in millions of Australians increasingly relying on their home broadband service. As Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers,…

Read More Government must act to address broadband affordability as unemployment predicted to rise: ACCAN

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Price gouging during the coronavirus crisis has been rampant. We’re calling on sellers big and small as well as online platforms to cease and desist.  CHOICE article. Last updated 20 March 2020. It may surprise you to learn that price gouging – jacking up prices for essential goods when supplies are low – is technically…

Read More CHOICE calls on sellers and online platforms to put an end to price gouging

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Supermarket operators will be able to coordinate immediately to ensure consumers have reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic following the ACCC’s granting of interim authorisation. The interim authorisation will allow supermarkets to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers. The purpose of this is…

Read More Supermarkets to work together to ensure grocery supply

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Consumer Action Law Centre has released its second edition of Regulator Watch: The enforcement performance of Australia’s consumer protection regulators. In 2013, Consumer Action published the first edition of ‘Regulator Watch’, which was written in response to the absence of a public mechanism to compare the enforcement work being done by Australia’s various consumer protection regulators. Since…

Read More Consumer Action releases Regulator Watch report

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For the first time, the majority of hospital treatment policies held by Australians now contain exclusions, the latest ACCC annual report into the private health insurance industry has found. More than 57 per cent of policies held by Australians contain exclusions, up from about 44 per cent in the previous year. “Many people may not be aware…

Read More Private health insurance premiums rise despite growing exclusions

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Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA), CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, Financial Rights Legal Centre and Super Consumers Australia have published policy submissions that respond to 22 of the Royal Commission’s 76 recommendations.  After the shocking scandals of the Royal Commission, consumer groups are supportive of the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s efforts to enact…

Read More Consumer advocates comment on draft legislation that responds to over a quarter of Banking Royal Commission recommendations

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ASIC has released an update on its work in the six-month period from September 2019 to February 2020, including its response to the referrals and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (the Royal Commission). It follows previous updates on ASIC’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations…

Read More ASIC releases update on its enforcement and regulatory work

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ACCC Chair Rod Sims announced the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement priorities for 2020 in a speech to the annual Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA). These priorities provide focus to the ACCC’s enforcement and advocacy work, as well as develop solutions to deliver benefits for all consumers. The 2020 priorities include: Competition and consumer issues in the…

Read More ACCC releases its compliance and enforcement priorities for 2020

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ASIC has today started a four week consultation on draft guidance about the new best interests duty for mortgage brokers. The new obligations were legislated by the Parliament in response to Recommendation 1.2 of the Royal Commission. From 1 July, the obligations will require mortgage brokers to act in the best interests of consumers and to…

Read More ASIC consults on draft guidance on the new best interests duty for mortgage brokers

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ASIC has released the findings from its recent review of superannuation trustees’ communications with their members about changes introduced through the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019 (PYSP). The PYSP reforms were introduced to protect the superannuation savings of Australians from erosion due to inappropriate fees and insurance premiums as well as to reduce unintended…

Read More ASIC releases report reviewing trustees’ PYSP communications