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Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Page: 59

Senator STEPHENS (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector and Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion) (6:30 PM) —As I mentioned in my speech summing up the second reading debate, financial services are exempt because the financial disclosure regime is covered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. In fact, it is under section 12DD of the ASIC Act, which mirrors section 53C of the Trade Practices Act in relation to financial services. This bill does not amend the ASIC Act, so the existing disclosure regime in respect of financial services will continue. Firstly, to overlay the new provision with the existing disclosure requirements in the financial services regime has been assessed as being both complicated and in many cases unnecessary. In particular, the total price for credit products and other financial services often depends on the amount of credit purchased or the size of the investment made. Accordingly, it would often be impossible for a business to quantify a total price in advance. Secondly, there are already extensive mandatory disclosure regimes for financial services under Commonwealth, state and territory legislation, including of course under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, so any amendments to the ASIC Act would be likely to create confusion as to the operation of these regimes.