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Consumer fight with banks worsens.



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Consumer Fight With Banks Worsens Stephen Conroy - Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

Media Statement - 28 February 2001

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A report released by ASIC today demonstrates the need for improved disclosure of banks fees and charges.

ASIC's report reveals that the number of internal disputes handled by banks has increased by 21% in the last year. The largest single cause of disputes was the disclosure of fees and charges (17.5%).

It is clear that the consumer fight with banks is worsening. There is no doubt that there is a need for improved disclosure of bank fees and charges.

Labor has developed a plan to improve bank fee disclosure. Our plan includes:

Banks to introduce a real time fee disclosure for ATMs within a period of 12-24 months. ● Banks should provide to a customer information on the cost of a transaction before the transaction is made so that a consumer has an opportunity to cancel the transaction. ●

Banks should provide to customers a break down of fees charged on monthly statements, including a comparison of fees over previous months so that consumers can compare their transaction activity.

●

Introduction of an Average Annual Percentage Rate (AAPR) on housing loans, personal loans and credit cards which will provide consumers with a true cost of their borrowing. ●

While Labor has a plan for the banking industry - the Government talks but does nothing.

The Federal Government must immediately bring the banks together with community groups, small business groups and consumer groups to establish a social charter of community obligations.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.