Useful resources

Useful consumer resources

Dispute resolution

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)  FOS provides a free, accessible and independent dispute resolution service. All code-subscribing banks are members of FOS.

 

Financial counsellors

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) Financial Counselling Australia’s website contains a service locator for organisations in each State or Territory that provides financial counselling.Freecall 1800 007 007 (available 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). You will be automatically transferred to the phone service in your state.

Legal aid

National Legal Aid National Legal Aid’s website features a legal aid service locator for each State and Territory. These services are free, independent and confidential. Phone (03) 6236 3813.
National Association of Community legal centres The association’s website provides a service locator for community legal centres. Phone (02) 9264 9595. 
Consumer Credit Legal Centres Telephone advice for consumers with legal questions about financial services:

ACT: Consumer Law Centre (02) 6257 1788

NSW: Consumer Credit Legal Centre 1800 007 007

TAS: Consumer Credit Hotline 1800 232 500

VIC: Consumer Action Law Centre 1800 466 477

WA: Consumer Credit Legal Service 08 9221 7066

 

Consumer affairs

Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA)  CFA develops policy on important consumer issues and helps consumers participate in developing standards for goods and services.
Consumer Affairs / Fair Trading  ACT: Office of Fair Trading 02 6207 0400

NSW: NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20

NT: Consumer Affairs 1800 019 319

QLD: Fair Trading 13 13 04

SA: Office of Consumer and Business Affairs 13 18 82

TAS: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading 1300 654 499

VIC: Consumer Affairs Victoria 1300 558 181

WA: Consumer Protection 1300 304 054

 

 Money tools, financial information and support

Doing it tough? Published by the Australian Bankers’ Association, this website directs you straight through to ‘hardship websites’ for each institution, and features financial health checklists testing whether you are at risk of loan default.
Money Help Free confidential and independent financial information for Victorians experiencing difficulty paying their rent or mortgage or facing job loss.
Money Smart This website offers free, independent guidance so that consumers can make the best choices for their money.
National Debt Helpline The National Debt Helpline website has information and self-help resources for people experiencing financial difficulty. People who may need more assistance are encouraged to ring 1800 007 007 or to contact a face-to-face financial counsellor for an appointment.

 

Credit agencies

Veda Advantage Veda Advantage is a credit reporting agency. You may be able to obtain a copy of your credit report via its website.
Dun & Bradstreet Dun & Bradstreet is a credit reporting agency. You may be able to obtain a copy of your credit report via its website.

Industry bodies

Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) The ABA is the industry body for the banks. Its website has useful information on the banking industry, Code of Banking Practice, consumer issues and banks’ contact details.

 

Government agencies and industry regulators

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) The ACCC assesses complaints on business practices and provides guidance to business and consumers on their rights and obligations under the Trade Practices Act and Prices Surveillance Act.
Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) APCA is the self-regulatory body for Australia’s payments industry.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) APRA promotes prudent behaviour among financial institutions. It can provide advice and/or guidelines regarding the early release of superannuation benefits, but any application must be processed by the superannuation trustee.
Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) ASIC regulates and enforces consumer protection laws covering investments, superannuation, insurance and financial advice.
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) The OAIC investigates allegations of breaches of privacy.