Financial counselling in Australia is regulated through the Financial Services Reform Act 2001. Legislative recognition further highlights the need to have adequate legal support available for financial counsellors to support the most vulnerable of consumers.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) granted conditional exemption from the licensing obligations for not-for-profit financial counselling services (under Class Order 03/1063 of the Corporations Act 2001 gazetted on 16.12.03).
This exemption requires certain conditions to be met and these include the following.
Section 160C of the Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Bill 2011 and restricts the use of the terms ‘financial counsellor’ and ‘financial counselling’ to organisations that provide financial counselling services as prescribed under the National Consumer Credit Protection Regulations 2010.