Financial Counselling

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The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services commenced an inquiry into the systems and regulatory framework relating to financial abuse at the start of April 2024. The period for written submissions is now half-way through and will officially end on 14 June 2024. Submissions can be made publicly but the committee is also…

Read More Financial Abuse Inquiry – 1 month left for written submissions

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The 2023 Life Insurance Code of Practice (the Life Insurance Code) introduced a requirement for insurers to have family violence policies available online for their customers. For many life insurers this will be the first publicly available written policy indicating how they will support customers experiencing family violence. Family violence – in the form of…

Read More Financial Rights Publishes Report on Best Practice in Life Insurer Family Violence Policies

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The United States of America’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a new report, Price Complexity in Laboratory Markets, which indicates that complex pricings, or costs separated into various sub-prices, are typically more expensive and harder to compare – leading to consumers paying more. Based on the CFPB’s previous research, this increased complexity and…

Read More US Consumer Protection Body Publishes Research Finding Higher Price Complexity Leads to Consumers Paying More

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ASIC is warning consumers about an increase in the sophistication of fake bond and term deposit scams where scammers are impersonating little-known legitimate financial services businesses, often those without a website or digital footprint. Scammers are mirroring real businesses’ disclosure documents, addresses, International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs), Australian business numbers (ABNs) and Australian financial services…

Read More Scam Alert Issued by ASIC as Scammers Change Methods

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The National Anti-Scam Centre’s collaborative efforts across government, law enforcement, consumer organisations and industry have boosted the community’s fight against financial crime, as the latest Targeting Scams report reveals a 13.1 per cent decline in reported losses to $2.74 billion in 2023. The report compiles data reported to Scamwatch, ReportCyber, the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange (AFCX), IDCARE…

Read More Scam Losses Fall But A Long Road Ahead

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More Australians will now have access to support from financial counsellors with the launch of the Financial Counselling Industry Fund (FCIF). The FCIF is the result of a collaboration between the financial counselling sector and a number of industries and companies – Australian Banking Association member banks, Australian Energy Council, Energy Networks Australia, Insurance Council…

Read More Financial Counselling Industry Fund Launches

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This week Consumers International launched a global campaign for transparent digital finance. Poor transparency has long been a problem in financial services, but now more than ever there are billions of consumers (1) using banks and other financial services and (2) using or connecting to these financial services digitally. Over mounting concern on both digital…

Read More Global Campaign for Transparent Digital Finance Launches

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Australians struggling with debt and cost-of-living pressures are turning to free and independent debt helplines in their thousands. Calls and chats to the National Debt Helpline (NDH) and the Small Business Debt Helpline (SBDH) have soared over the past 12 months. Both services are coordinated by Financial Counselling Australia. “In February NDH dealt with 14,871 enquiries. That’s a 17%…

Read More Cost of Living Crisis sees more calls to Free Debt Helplines

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ICAN (Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network) is thrilled to announce the launch of its innovative Thrive Matched Savings program, a pioneering initiative designed to empower individuals on their journey towards financial independence. As an organisation committed to fostering financial wellbeing, ICAN introduces this program to not only support savings efforts but also to double the impact…

Read More ICAN Officially Launches New Thrive Matched Savings Program

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First Nations and other consumer advocates have welcomed the extension of ASIC’s interim Stop Order on Coral Coast Distributors (Cairns) Ptd Ltd trading as Urban Rampage (Urban Rampage) retail stores, where customers enter agreements to pay for goods on credit through Centrepay deductions. The original stop order was imposed because ASIC received complaints about Urban…

Read More Continued Ban of Business Centrepay Use in Remote Australia Welcomed as Advocates Call for Broader Centrepay Reform