Vulnerable Consumers

A white computer keyboard. One key has the image of a shopping trolley on it A white computer keyboard. One key has the image of a shopping trolley on it

Thirteen consumer groups have joined together to provide a submission on the draft Buy Now Pay Later Code of Practice (BNPL code), developed by the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA). While noting that industry codes can provide beneficial commitments, the consumer advocates consider inconsistent regulation among buy now pay later products and other consumer credit…

Read More Consumer groups say a self-regulatory code for Buy Now Pay Later lenders is no substitute for consumer protection in law

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The Queensland Office of Fair Trading warns of employment opportunity scams in the following media release. COVID-19 has unleashed literally hundreds of scams across Australia and the next ones the Queensland Office of Fair Trading wants consumers to watch out for are employment opportunity scams. Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said scammers hiding behind…

Read More Consumers urged to look out for employment opportunity scams in the wake of COVID-19

Small round disk batteries in green and black cardboard packaging that says 'GP Lithium' Small round disk batteries in green and black cardboard packaging that says 'GP Lithium'

CFA has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Button Battery Taskforce. The ACCC launched the taskforce to investigate the safety of button batteries and the products that contain them. Button batteries pose a severe injury risk for young children and other vulnerable groups, like the elderly and those with dementia,…

Read More Consumers’ Federation of Australia responds to proposed button battery regulation options

A gold credit card A gold credit card

Consumer advocate CHOICE is urging Australian banks to go further in their response to COVID-19, flagging that many Australians are still being harmed by high cost credit cards, personal loans and long term debt. “We welcome that many banks have announced initial support packages for customers but we know they can go further. We have…

Read More “Banks need to go further on their coronavirus response”: CHOICE

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NBN Co announced on Friday it will establish a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund to help internet providers to support their residential and small and medium business customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief fund, created following a short industry consultation led by NBN Co, is aimed at helping internet providers connect…

Read More NBN Co creates $150 million COVID-19 relief and assistance package

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The Conexus Institute, Actuaries Institute and Super Consumers Australia have collaborated to produce an Information Sheet addressing early access to super. As you are aware the Government is allowing eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. A challenge for super funds…

Read More An Information Sheet relating to early access to super

A gold statue of lady justice, a woman holding a sword and scales, in front of a blue background A gold statue of lady justice, a woman holding a sword and scales, in front of a blue background

Today the Government passed the first omnibus bill in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission, which consumer advocates say will help address long-standing problems with unfair insurance contracts, funeral expenses policies and mortgage broking.  The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures) Act 2019 will address recommendations 4.7, 1.2 and 4.2…

Read More Consumer advocates welcome Act implementing three key Banking Royal Commission recommendations

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Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) and Financial Rights Legal Centre (Financial Rights) say ASIC’s overhaul of its responsible lending guidance is a welcome announcement in the wake of the devastating consumer harm exposed during the Banking Royal Commission.  Too many lenders, including banks, finance companies, payday lenders, and consumer lease providers have not effectively complied with legal obligations to ensure they do not provide borrowers with unsuitable loans. ASIC’s updated responsible lending guidance make existing laws clearer, easier to enforce and will help to hold…

Read More ASIC’s overhaul of responsible lending guidance should focus lenders on the welfare of borrowers

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Financial Counselling Australia welcomes the implementation of a ban on unsolicited telephone sales of life insurance and consumer credit insurance sold without personal advice.  ASIC announced that the ban will come into effect on January 13, 2020. In the experience of financial counsellors, who work with people in financial hardship, unsolicited telephone selling targets vulnerable consumers. The…

Read More Financial Counselling Australia welcomes ban on unsolicited telephone selling

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In her address, Delia Rickard noted that issues raised by consumer organisations with the ACCC commonly form part of its priorities for compliance and enforcement. Delia noted that consumer groups have recently raised issues such as funeral services, debt collection, product safety and sustainability which will be considered for future priorities. Other trends and issues identified by…

Read More ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard provides address to CFA’s annual general meeting

A calculator and page with calculations on it A calculator and page with calculations on it

South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) today launched its report, Working to Make Ends Meet: Low-income Workers and Energy Bill Stress. The report investigates households whose main source of income is wages but who are still living below the “poverty line”. This report, based on national statistical data and South Australian case studies, is…

Read More SACOSS’ Working to Make Ends Meet Report highlights energy affordability struggles for “waged poor” households