Access 2 Effective Markets and Governance

We are a not-for-profit body, providing advice and assistance to improve the workings of markets, improving financial inclusion and the accountability of governments.

Learn More

News

CHOICE announces Sandra Davey as new Chair

CHOICE has announced the appointment of digital and product executive Sandra Davey as the new Chair of its Board.

Davey has been a non-executive director of CHOICE since 2012 and has helped to inform the group's current strategy which has led to new products such as the augmented reality app CluckAR and Do I Need Health Insurance?

https://www.choice.com.au/about-us/the-choice-story/choice-announces-sandra-davey-as-new-chair

Ban against excessive credit card surcharges

On 25 February 2016 the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Act 2016 became law. It inserted a new part into the CCA banning excessive payment surcharges and provided new powers for the ACCC.

The ban is found in the CCA, and operates in conjunction with a Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) standard.

The purpose of the ban is to stop businesses from charging payment surcharges that are excessive. That is, from charging a customer more than what it costs the business to process the payment.

A business is not required to impose a payment surcharge, but if it chooses to then it is only allowed to pass on to the customer the costs that the business was charged for accepting payment of that payment type.

The ban applies to all businesses, regardless of their size.

https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/prices-surcharges-receipts/credit-debit-prepaid-card-surcharges

Consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector

On 29 November 2016, the Senate referred an inquiry into the regulatory framework for the protection of consumers, including small businesses, in the banking, insurance and financial services sector (including Managed Investment Schemes) to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of the autumn sittings of 2018.

Submissions closed on 7 March 2017.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Consumerprotection

European Commission Publishes Results Of EU Consumer Law Review

Mondaq reports that the European Commission published the final report on the results of its review of EU consumer law (the "Fitness Check"), which was initiated in January 2016 . The Fitness Check presents an analysis of EU consumer law with suggestions for improvements to the EU regulatory framework.

http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=602570&email_access=on&chk=2178182&q=1575612

Pacific Regional Consumer Initiative

THE Fijian Consumer Council of has hosted a three-member delegation from its Tongan counterparts to promote networking in consumer protection at a regional level

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=398423.

Review of Australian Consumer Law

Consumer Affairs Australian and New Zealand provided consumer affairs ministers, through the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs, with the Australian Consumer Law Review Final Report in March 2017. Consumer affairs ministers will consider the report in the second half of 2017.

Links to the document are in:

http://consumerlaw.gov.au/review-of-the-australian-consumer-law/final-report/

Commentary on the report has been mixed:

"A coalition of not-for-profit organisations under the #fixfundraising banner says the charity sector has been "fobbed off" and relegated to third position in any future reform priorities with the release of the long-awaited review of Australian consumer law (ACL)."

https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/04/review-consumer-law-sees-charity-sector-fobbed-off/

"The Turnbull Government is set to squash plans for a "lemon law" which would have given shoppers an automatic right to reject goods that fail within 30 days of purchase.

The proposal, taken from Singapore, emerged last week in the final report of a two-year review by Commonwealth, state and territory fair trading bureaucrats."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/plans-for-a-national-lemon-law-giving-consumers-more-protection-go-sour/news-story/0c04b7f83581ebbab74834a3bb5b9bbf

"Recommendations in the final report of the Australian Consumer Law Review, undertaken by Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand, will affect a number of retailers, life insurers and providers of consumer products and services if they are accepted by governments."

http://www.itwire.com/resellers/77766-consumer-law-review-moots-bigger-fines-for-breaches.html

Australia: Australian Consumer Law review: Final report imminent.

http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=587828&signup=true.(sign in required)