Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Consumers to get better disclosure of fees.



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D I A S T A T E M E N T

Senator Stephen Conroy Deputy Opposition Leader in the Senate Shadow Minister for Financial Services

16 September 2002

CONSUMERS TO GET BETTER DISCLOSURE OF FEES

Labor today was successful in its attempt to improve the disclosure of fees under the Financial Services Reform Act (FSRA) when it disallowed regulations dealing with the disclosure of fees and charges in the Product Disclosure Statement.

The Government wanted to ignore advice from the Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) that the regulations as currently drafted will not add to the understanding of consumers, and possibly increase confusion about the level of fees charged on financial products. The Australian Consumers Association (ACA) had also expressed strong concerns with the regulations.

The Government prefers to listen to the view of the financial services industry, which have been hiding the high fees they charge behind meaningless and confusing disclosures for too long.

The Government must now immediately put in place a process to re-draft the relevant regulations until those regulations meet the objectives of the FRSA - consistent and comparable disclosure across financial products to allow consumers to make informed decisions.

In the meantime, the view of investors and others concerned with the interests of investors is that no regulations are better than the misleading regulations which until now applied.

Labor was also successful in its attempt to protect consumers from unscrupulous telephone marketing of financial products.

This Government finally agreed to prohibit cold-calling on Sundays and public holidays to market financial products.

Only Labor wants to protect investors. As more and more people take an interest in their financial future, governments have a duty to ensure that the regulatory regime allows them to invest confidently and make fully informed decisions. This Government has up to this point failed in its duty.

Further information: Stephen Conroy: 0418 383 965 or Diane Brown: 0407 434 523