9 November 2020
For immediate release
Victorian financial counsellors are slamming federal government moves to remove responsible lending laws.
The laws protect people from exploitative lending by banks and other lenders, but the Federal Government has just released a draft bill which will see them axed from March next year.
Financial counsellors around Victoria are writing letters to local MPs and Senators to urge them to vote against the proposed changes.
Financial Counselling Victoria (FCVic) is also seeking meetings with key Federal MPs and Senators to explain why it is vital that these laws are retained.
“Axing protections in our lending laws will hurt individuals and their families,” said Dr Sandy Ross, FCVic Executive Officer.
“This proposal will actually hamper the economic recovery. Loading people up with unaffordable debt is a recipe for economic disaster.”
Financial counsellors work in community based organisations and provide free, independent and non-judgmental assistance to people in financial stress. They are different to financial planners or advisors.
“The Banking Royal Commission showed what happens if these basic protections are not enforced; if they are removed entirely, more people will end up in a debt spiral and at risk of being stuck in poverty as they struggle to pay off their debts,” said Dr Ross.
“This is one of the biggest challenges our sector is facing, and we are determined to convince our federal politicians to stop these laws from being dropped.”
The campaign is part of a wider national campaign against the proposal. The campaign is supported by all financial counselling state and territory associations along with key consumer groups including Choice, Consumer Action Law Centre and the Financial Legal Rights Centre.
FCVic is the peak body for Financial Counsellors in Victoria.
Financial counsellors provide information, support and advocacy to people in financial difficulty.
Dr Sandy Ross, Executive Officer
Financial Counselling Victoria
0417 557 420 | Email: [email protected]