Finance

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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

#SaveSorryBusiness

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

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These rules have been developed by the ACMA in response to a direction from the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, to make an enforceable industry standard that will improve safeguards for telco customers experiencing financial difficulties.

The new Telecommunications (Financial Hardship) Industry Standard 2024 requires telcos to establish and promote clearly accessible written financial hardship policies. Telcos must do more to proactively identify customers experiencing financial hardship and prioritise keeping them connected to services.

Read More New Telco Industry Standard to Address “range of financial gaps”

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A coalition of advocacy groups, including Consumer Action Law Centre, CHOICE and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, have come out forcefully stating that customer reimbursement, paid for by industry through a customer’s own bank, must be at the centre of the Federal Government’s proposed new scam laws. The advocates say the new laws must be urgently implemented by the end of this year to stop the billions of dollars that are being lost by Australians every year to scammers.

Read More Industry Liability the Clear Path to Scam Reform

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ASIC has published a summary document from a 30 November 2023 virtual workshop which focussed on building an understanding of identification verification challenges faced by First Nations consumers, and how industry can apply flexible approaches while meeting legislative requirements.

Read More ASIC Releases Summary for Indigenous Financial Services Framework Workshop