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Industry that has preyed on vulnerable people must pay up

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 7 Feb 2019

The financial services industry has a record of preying on vulnerable people and the deliberate targeting of people in remote First Nations communities is particulararly egregious.

"During the Royal Commission we heard sickening evidence of companies targeting regional and remote areas for funeral insurance often signing people up who had little understanding of what the policies meant, language barriers and the use of Aboriginal “branding” to trick people into thinking they were signing up with an Aboriginal organisation, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“This is just one example of the financial targeting of Aboriginal communities.

“The Government must act quickly to remove the exclusion of funeral expenses policies from the definition of ‘financial product’; so that they are properly regulated and put beyond doubt that the consumer protection provisions of the ASIC Act apply to funeral expenses policies, as well as banning the hawking of all insurance products.

“The Government must also act to address the barriers many First Nations peoples face in using banking and financial services and work with First Nations peoples to use the AUSTRAC identification process.

“The Greens will keep asking, following the Royal Commission, the hearings and now the final report - will long suffering victims of financial misconduct now be appropriately compensated?"

Media Contact:

Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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