Laws to remove consumer protections in financial services being introduced to parliament by the Federal Government today would see working people get ripped off by big banks, unions said today.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Abbott Government's move to water down the Future of Financial Advice Act (FoFA) would lead to working Australians losing hard-earned savings to greedy and unethical financial institutions.
The attempt to remove the requirement for financial advice to be given in the client's best interests is deeply concerning, said Ms Kearney.
"If not the interests of the consumer, then whose interests will financial institutions act in?
"This isn't about red tape, this is a free kick to business that will put profits ahead of the interests of ordinary Australians.
"There are many examples of families losing their life savings because of financial products they didn't understand or that they were pressured into.
"The FoFA laws are sensible, well thought out protections for consumers – usually hard-working people who have spent a lifetime accumulating their nest eggs.
"This attempt to water them down is a clear reward for the big banks who have lobbied hard for the removal of consumer protections and transparency around fees and commissions.
"We all know big business is there to make profits and the banks are very good at that.
"But Australians rely on government to protect them against the worst predatory behavior of business – not give them open slather.
"By removing consumer protections in the financial advice industry, Tony Abbott is paving the way for ordinary Australians to get ripped off."
Media contact: Carla De Campo, 0410 579 575
Read the ASU's detailed article about this issue here: Tony Abbott wants to take your "best interests" out of financial advice regulations, 4 March 2014