19 March 2023

‘It’s time’ for long overdue consumer protections

As Parliament returns for a fortnight of sittings, the Albanese Government is committed to finalising two important and long overdue recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission.

In the last sitting week, the Government re‑introduced a package of legislation to establish the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR) and the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR). Together, these Bills will make executives more accountable for the conduct of financial institutions, and provide an avenue of redress for victims of financial misconduct.

These are important protections for consumers, and they have waited long enough.

Right now there are around 2,000 cases on hold with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), awaiting passage of the CSLR. In another 30 cases, compensation has been awarded, but can’t be paid until the Scheme has been established.

If the CSLR Bills are not passed this month, consumers will be waiting until 2024 to receive compensation.

Similarly, the longer the wait for the FAR goes on, the more uncertainty there will be amongst the financial industry about the obligations that will be imposed upon them.

These measures will strengthen our financial system. They are supported by trusted consumer advocates such as Choice, and are a direct response to some of the revelations heard at the Hayne Royal Commission.

It’s time to get these things done.