Mandatory Code for Scams Promising But More Regulation Needed

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Original media release by Consumer Action Law Centre (30/11/2023).

The mandatory Code for Scams consultation paper announced by the Federal Treasury today sets out some proposals to tackle the scams crisis, however the final regulation must land on clearer stipulated standards and consumers’ rights to reimbursement of scams losses from banks if standards are not met.

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Stephanie Tonkin said the paper was high-level but showed potential across the ecosystem to make a difference once turned into law and prevent thousands more Australians being ripped-off by scammers.

“The glaring omission is liability and rights for reimbursement for banking customers,” she said.

“We talk to many people who, through no fault of their own, have suffered life-changing losses to sophisticated scams, and they should not be made to foot the bill for a system that has failed them.

“Mandatory and enforceable codes are a step forward, but consumers must be able to seek reimbursement easily, and there needs to be clarity on the high standard expected of banks and their liability,” she said.

Ms Tonkin said Consumer Action remains committed to campaigning for a clear and consistent standard on when consumers will be reimbursed by their banks after they have fallen through the cracks.

We [Consumer Action] look forward to engaging with Treasury for further clarification in the coming weeks as we develop our more considered response and strategy to the consultation. In seeking further information we will be trying to ascertain?exactly what businesses will be required to?do and push for a very high standard that Australians expect.

For more information on the consultation paper, as well as how to respond and when to respond by, please click here to see the Treasury page. Submissions responding to the consultation paper opened 30 November 2023 and will close on 29 January 2024.