Regulator news and government inquiries

SCAM ALERTS [Visit SCAMwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au for all SCAMwatch radar alerts] New round of scam scratchie cards in the mail August 2011: SCAMwatch and Carnival Australia are warning Australians to beware of a new spate of scam scratchie cards and travel brochures sent in the mail. http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/867806 Computer remote access scammers now masquerading as Telstra…

Read More New Scam Alerts – ACCC

ACCC receives Telstra’s structural separation undertaking and draft migration plan Issued 1st August 2011 NR 133/11 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a structural separation undertaking and a draft migration plan from Telstra. http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1000404/fromItemId/2332 ACCC finalises fixed line telecommunications prices and delivers pricing certainty and stability to industry Issued 21st July 2011 NR…

Read More ACCC telecommunications update

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  issued a discussion paper (18 August 2011) seeking submissions on the service description for a Layer 2 bitstream service. The consultation is the first step in issuing a declaration that creates the ACCC’s role in regulating this service. This declaration is intended to cover the ‘last mile’ fibre to…

Read More ACCC begins public consultation on “last mile” fibre to residences

Australians who find themselves in a spot of bother with their car have a good chance of making a successful insurance claim, a review of motor vehicle insurers has found. ASIC’s review of more than 1.2 million claims made during 2009 found only 3317 (0.3%) were formally denied. The report also found a relatively low…

Read More ASIC finds high level of withdrawn motor vehicle insurance claims

ASIC urges consumers to check the credentials of businesses they deal with, following complaints it has received from consumers about two unlicensed businesses offering home loans with an upfront fee. Ezy Savings and Caveat Loans ITstrong are not registered Australian companies or businesses nor do they have an Australian office or valid business address. However,…

Read More ASIC warns about fake loan offers

Wayne Hawkins, disability policy adviser at ACCAN writes: As you may be aware the government is undertaking a review of access to telecommunications by people with disability, older Australians and people experiencing illness. ACCAN will be making a detailed submission to the review . One of our key areas of work is in the area…

Read More Access to telecommunications review – input to ACCAN submission

Contracts for difference – CFDs – are risky financial products that should not be marketed to ordinary retail investors in CFA’s opinion. CFD’s are not ordinary shares and significantly magnify the risks of investing. CFA has welcomed ASIC’s release of new disclosure benchmarks for CFDs that aim to improve disclosure and investor awareness about risks…

Read More CFA welcomes ASIC action on Contracts for Difference (CFD)

ASIC has taken action against Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd following complaints from consumers about harassment. Among the complaints were concerns regarding unduly frequent contact with debtors, contact with third parties, inappropriate and aggressive phonecalls and inadequate internal dispute resolution policies and procedures. ASIC spokesperson, Greg Kirk, said: ‘Creditors and debt collectors can’t behave in a…

Read More Action on debt collection complaints

ASIC has released proposals for modifying the training requirements for credit representatives who provide credit assistance to consumers on home loans. The proposals address some recent industry concern about the training requirements. ASIC believes the proposals strike an appropriate balance between the interests of confident and informed financial consumers and the regulatory obligations of market…

Read More ASIC considering changes to home lending training requirements

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

repairing a car repairing a car

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