Articles of interest - 24 February

Written on the 24 February 2021 by SAFCA

  • FCA Weekly Digest 17 February 2021
  • Closure of StepUp

FCA Weekly Digest 12 February 2021

Extracts from the FCA Weekly Digest

Welcome to the Weekly Financial Counselling Digest, which keeps you informed about recent news and updates to financial counselling resources.

This week, the government's plans to axe safe lending laws have been put under the spotlight of a Senate inquiry. There is more information about this below.

Elder abuse workshops are still running and if you haven't already, it'd be great if you could sign up! See registration links below.

News and Updates

Senate Hearings About Scrapping Safe Lending

Today, the government's plans to axe safe lending laws will be put under the spotlight of a Senate inquiry.

People who've experienced unsafe lending and experts will speak directly to an undecided crossbench senator, who is part of the Inquiry.

We're giving evidence about why these protections must stay in place, which has been informed by the examples and case studies you provided in our survey.

Our key ally organisations in this campaign - Consumer Action, CHOICE and Financial Rights Legal Centre will also give evidence.

So what can you do to help the campaign?

Please share our content online, as well as your own experiences, to send a clear message to our Parliamentarians.

Our supporter social media guide can be found here:

Images (like the one below) that quote case studies from financial counsellors can be found in the social media guide and via this link:

There are examples from every state and territory. Remember to use the hashtag #DebtDisaster. Together, we can protect our communities from unsafe lending.


Feedback Request: St George Finance

Financial counsellors are raising concerns regarding the responsible lending practices and Internal Dispute Resolution processes of St George Finance, in particular its vehicle lending arm.

If you've come across unsuitable car loans by this lender or have had difficulty with St George's IDR, can you please email Zack Wildy

We'll put together your examples (we can help write them up if necessary) into a case study report.

Next steps will depend on what comes out of that a complaint to ASIC, contact with the company, possibly both.

Elder Abuse Training Workshops

Would you like to learn more about assisting older clients experiencing abuse?

Come to our new training workshop, facilitated by Kat Lane (lawyer) and Karyn Schluter-White (training consultant).

The workshop goes from 9am-2pm AEST(QLD) and 10am-3pm AEDT (NSW and VIC).

It will be hosted online via Zoom. We recommend using two screens, as a variety of digital tools are used.

Participants must complete a 30-minute MURAL (online whiteboard) training prerequisite beforehand. MURAL will be used throughout the workshop and it's important that attendees understand the basics.

Click here to register for MURAL training:

To view elder abuse workshop times and register, click here:

EAP Newsletter: Are You a Good Listener?

As part of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) package for the sector, we receive wellbeing resources that are available for your use.

This newsletter focusses on effective listening, which is a major part of communication.

Being present, putting down your phone and giving someone your undivided attention is easier said than done. Yet it's fundamental in gaining understanding, having meaningful conversations and establishing connections.

Click the link to read the full newsletter:

Closure of StepUp

Dear Partner,

As a valued supporter of the StepUP program, I am writing to share with you the news that it will cease operation from 30th June 2021.

Good Shepherdand NAB createdStepUPin 2004 to provide fair and affordable small loans to purchase a car for people living on low incomes.Since then, the program has worked with Federal and State governments, Good Money stores and communityorganisations nationally to deliver over 23,000 loans to the value of more than $68 million.

The success of StepUP has been built on responding to the needs of clients. It is through this lens that we have reviewed the program and concluded that the opportunity exists to create greater reach and improved product design. Good Shepherd and NAB are currently working on a NILs product to replace StepUP. This new product will have a greater range of benefits to support people with the purchase of motor vehicles. Information about the pilot program for the new NILs will be communicated in due course.

StepUP applications will continue to be accepted and approved until 31 March2021, to allow loans to be drawn down before 30 June 2021. There will be no impact to existingStepUPcustomers, and they will continue to repay their loans and receive support from NAB if they face difficulties making repayments. As StepUP activity winds down, staff will re-direct their services to our No Interest Loans (NILs) provision.

Once again I would like to extend a deep appreciation for your support of the StepUP program to date.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,
Megan McAlpine

General Manager Economic Wellbeing and Enterprises
T +61 478 325 015 | E

Abbotsford |  W

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Our Vision is that all women, girls and
families are safe, well, strong and connected.





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Glynde SA 5070