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Better disclosure needed.

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

Senator the Hon Nick Sherry Shadow Minister for Retirement Incomes and Savings, Consumer Affairs

18 June 2002


Labor in the Senate today gave notice to disallow part of the regulations made pursuant to the Financial Services Reform Act (FSRA).

“Labor is concerned that the regulation proposing additional disclosure requirements in Product Disclosure Statements for superannuation products does not apply to other products which equally are used by consumers to accumulate wealth,” said Senator Stephen Conroy, Shadow Minister for Financial Services.

“The regulation has also been criticised by Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia and the Australian Consumers Association as seriously inadequate. The information on costs and charges provided to consumers must be complete, meaningful to consumers, and permit comparability across financial products,” said Senator Nick Sherry, Shadow Minister for Retirement Incomes and Savings, and Consumer Affairs.

“Labor is concerned that the regulation prescribing hours for unsolicited telephone calls to offer financial products is too broad, and dilutes the effectiveness of the amendment moved by Labor when the FSRA was debated in the Senate,” Senator Conroy said.

Labor has long maintained a commitment to improving disclosure of fees and charges. Senator Conroy wrote to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer in February this year expressing concerns with the regulations and subsequently initiated an inquiry into the regulations by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

“Labor supported the FSRA and does not want the benefits of the new regime to be diluted now. Labor hopes the Government will be prepared to negotiate amendments to the regulations to improve disclosure and achieve a better outcome for consumers,” concluded Senator Conroy.

Further information: Stephen Conroy: 02 6277 3295 or 0418 383 965 Nick Sherry: 02 6277 3128 or 0418 482807 Diane Brown: 02 6277 3295 or 0419 971 096