Finance

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The Full Court has upheld ASIC’s appeal in its case against ACBF Funeral Plans Pty Ltd (ACBF) and Youpla Group Pty Ltd (Youpla), finding that funeral expenses insurance provider ACBF misrepresented to Aboriginal consumers that it was Aboriginal owned or managed when that was not the case.
[T]he Court found that, on the evidence, it is ‘abundantly clear … that the Aboriginal Ownership/Management Representation is false.’

Read More Full Court Finding Supports First Nations’ and ASIC Allegations of ACBF/Youpla Misrepresentation

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Original media release from the Attorney-General’s media centre (27/02/2024). The Australian Government has commenced an independent review of Australia’s Credit Reporting Framework. Australia’s credit reporting system plays an important role in assessing eligibility and suitability for credit and in reducing the risk of financial harm to consumers, as well as protecting the privacy of individuals…

Read More Independent Review of Australia’s Credit Reporting Framework Commences

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“No one should come off BetStop and be able to gamble without a sensible deposit limit in place. Right now, a person can revoke the self-exclusion and the following day they can bet $100,000 which is clearly absurd,” Ms Levin said.

The new BetStop data shows that 1400 people have revoked their self-exclusion, and this group are most at risk.

Read More BetStop a Good Start but Expansion is Needed

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ASIC’s review found that often there was insufficient emphasis on and a lack of transparency about Choice investment options that failed to meet performance expectations. There was little evidence of trustees communicating to members about investment option performance in a targeted manner, and financial advisers were not always addressing underperformance where relevant.

‘Members should be informed about their super investments – not left in the dark if their super investments are not performing as expected, and there may be better alternatives,’ Ms Constant said.

Read More ASIC Calls on Industry to Address Issues and Improve Oversight on Choice Super Performance

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Funded in the 2023 Budget, the Government’s Registry works by creating a controlled list of numbers of registered brand names, and preventing text messages from being sent using registered brand names unless the originating number matches the approved phone number on the Registry.
Feedback from consumers, industry, charities and government services will inform Government decision-making about next steps, including funding models for the finalised scheme.

Read More Stopping SMS Scammers Posing as Legitimate Institutions

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New research released by ASIC’s Moneysmart has shed light on the financial concerns of Australian Gen Z women, revealing that they are more likely than Gen Z men to feel stressed and overwhelmed by finances and money.
“These findings demonstrate the importance of empowering young women to move past girl math and take control of their finances. Countless studies have shown financially literate people are better at budgeting and saving, managing mortgages and debt, planning for retirement, and growing their wealth. These behaviours aren’t inherent – they can be learnt at any age. That’s why we need to change the equation on girl math in 2024,”

Read More MoneySmart Data Reveals Gender Disparity in Young Adult’s Financial Stress

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Recent super fund data breaches and increasingly sophisticated super scams demonstrate the urgent need for industry collaboration on a super anti-scam code. Super Consumers Australia today is urging the Federal Government to prioritise the safety of Australians’ 24 million retirement savings accounts by introducing a superannuation industry anti-scam code.

Since 2022, up to 178,000 superannuation members across three super funds have been placed at a heightened risk of phishing scams due to known super fund data breaches.

Read More Advocates Call for New Super Anti-Scam Code

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First Nations financial counsellors, advocates and policyholders from the Save Sorry Business Coalition have welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of an ‘enduring resolution’ for over 13,000 people harmed by Youpla and regulatory failures.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney has briefed advocates that the government scheme will include people who were still making payments to ACBF/Youpla on or after 1 August 2015.

Read More First Nations Advocates Welcome Federal Government’s ‘enduring resolution’ for Youpla Policyholders

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The latest data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reveals that consumers and small businesses made 14,671 complaints between October and December 2023, an increase of 13.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, but a 17.9 percent decrease compared to the same time last year.

Read More Complaints to TIO Increased for the Quarter But the Yearly Decrease Trend Continues

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A lack of transparent pricing information caused a poor understanding by consumers of how prices were set. This was significantly worsened by a lack of competition. While market concentration was a major issue, the inquiry found prices in Australia are way higher than in many other less competitive markets.

Large price increases occurred across many sectors.

Read More Supermarkets, airlines and power companies are charging ‘exploitative’ prices despite reaping record profits