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Media Releases

 CIO issues news releases to provide information about key issues to the media to keep our stakeholders informed about relevant CIO activities.2017

 



An article in The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 2017) quotes an unnamed credit repair agency as preferring to deal with the Financial Ombudsman Service when seeking to remove default listings. The agency claims the Credit and Investment Ombudsman (CIO) is unlikely to accept complaints about commercial credit (for business, not personal purposes) which fall outside the Privacy Act. 


“This is absolute nonsense”, according to Mr Raj Venga, CIO’s Chief Executive Officer and Ombudsman.


“CIO can, and does, deal with complaints from commercial borrowers and business owners.  It has always considered complaints by reference not only to the law, but also to applicable industry codes, good industry practice and fairness”, said Mr Venga.


According to Mr Venga, credit repair companies offer to 'fix' a consumer’s credit report for a considerable fee, sometimes as much as $1,000 per default listing, along with an upfront fee of $900, even when the debt for which the consumer was default listed is under $500. 


However, there is no reason for consumers to use credit repair companies ─ a consumer can challenge a default listing free of charge simply by contacting an ombudsman service directly.


Credit repair companies, disliked by consumer advocates and financial counsellors, routinely approach CIO, whose services are free to consumers, to have default listings removed, often on spurious grounds.


 “CIO does not pander to the unscrupulous credit repair business model. Because financial firms are charged fees, credit repair agencies lodge complaints with ombudsman schemes to put pressure on them to remove default listings, even when these have been correctly listed. CIO’s expertise in credit reporting matters, its funding model and its fee structure encourages financial firms to challenge unmeritorious complaints, rather than simply removing default listing that have been correctly listed”, added Mr Venga.


“The removal of default listings that are correctly listed compromises the integrity of the credit reporting system. This is not in the public interest.  Default listings that are correctly listed ensure consumers who are already in payment default don’t borrow more than they can afford, and also warn potential lenders that the consumer may be a credit risk," said Mr Venga.


“It is abundantly clear that if there was a single ombudsman scheme in the finance sector, as proposed by the Ramsay Review, credit repair agencies would have a field day and would become an even bigger problem than they are today”, concluded Mr Venga.







 

Media Release - Ramsay Review Interim Report – dangerously undermining EDR in financial services

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has rejected a recommendation that CIO and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) should be replaced by a single ombudsman scheme, in its response to the Interim Report into Australia’s three financial sector Ombudsman schemes by a panel led by Professor Ian Ramsay.

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2016

 

Media Release - Ramsay Review Findings – a solution looking for a problem

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has rejected the key recommendation of the interim report into Australia’s three financial sector Ombudsman schemes as pro big bank at the expense of non-bank financial service providers and small business customers.

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman responds to Financial Counsellors Survey

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) notes the report issued today by Financial Counselling Australia, setting out the results of a survey of its members comparing their experiences with CIO and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman slams recommendation for tribunal


The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has criticised the recommendation of the Coalition Members’ of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics in their report into the Big Four Banks that a single tribunal should be established for all financial services complaints.


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Media release - CIO releases its Annual Report on Operations 2015-16

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) today released its Annual Report on Operations 2015/16.

Key highlights for the year include:

  • nearly 27,000 enquiries were received, up 23.4%,
  • 4,760 complaints were made against financial services providers,
  • financial hardship complaints have decreased to 21% of all complaints received, but still feature as one of the largest sources of complaints,
  • credit reporting complaints have climbed to 29% of all complaints received,
  • sectors attracting the largest number of complaints were debt purchasers and collectors (42%), residential mortgage lenders and mortgage managers (14.5%), and consumer retail finance providers (7.8%),
  • nearly 23,000 financial services providers are now members of CIO,
  • 61% of complaints were resolved in the consumers’ favour,
  • consumers received $5.8 million in refunds or compensation, and
  • 57 systemic issues were reported to ASIC, a number of them have been the subject of regulatory action, including remedial outcomes.

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman slams talk of consolidation by big banks

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has slammed Australia’s big banks and their dispute resolution scheme, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), for calling for the creation of a single industry Ombudsman scheme in the financial services sector.

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Media Release - Ombudsman cautions that mergers and tribunals will not help consumers

In its submission to the review of Australia’s three financial sector Ombudsman schemes (Ramsay Review), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has called for a common entry point or triage service.

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Media release - Ombudsman cautions on tribunal

Mr Raj Venga, Chief Executive Officer and Ombudsman of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), today expressed concern about the proposal apparently being considered by the Federal Government to establish a ‘tribunal’ to hear financial services complaints. 

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Media release - Credit and Investments Ombudsman welcomes terms of reference into financial sector’s complaints framework

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has welcomed the release today by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer MP, of the terms of reference for the independent review of financial sector external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes.

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Media release - Credit and Investments Ombudsman welcomes Treasurer's announcement

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, that the Commonwealth Government will establish an expert panel to review the role, powers and governance of financial sector external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes.

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Media release - CIO appoints Deputy Ombudsman

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has announced the appointment of Mr Tim Gough as its new Deputy Ombudsman.

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2015

 

Media release - CIO releases its Annual Report on Operations 2014-15

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) today released its Annual Report on Operations 2014/15.

Key highlights for the year include:

  • more than 21,800 enquiries were received
  • almost 5,000 complaints were made against financial services providers, an increase of 7.4%
  • financial hardship complaints have decreased to 24% of all complaints received, but still feature as one of the largest sources of complaints
  • credit reporting complaints have climbed to 24% of all complaints received
  • sectors attracting the largest number of complaints were debt purchasers and collectors (40.7%), and residential lenders and mortgage managers (15.4%)
  • more than 20,000 financial services providers are now members of CIO.

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2014

 

Media release - Credit and Investments Ombudsman increases monetary compensation limit

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), previously known as COSL, today announced that the monetary compensation limit (MCL) applying to each claim in relation to complaints received from 1 January 2015 will be $309,000.

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Media release - COSL appoints new Consumer Director

The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) announced the appointment of Ms Amanda Barker as the new non-executive consumer director of the company, effective 22 October 2014.

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Media release - COSL releases its Annual Report on Operations 2013-2014

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) today released its Annual Report on Operations 2013-2014.

Highlights include:

  • consumers made more than 26,600 enquiries
  • complaints about financial hardship and credit listings continue to be the largest source of complaints
  • complaint numbers have continued to increase, up 20% in the last 12 months
  • significant improvements to timelines: 57% of complaints were resolved within three months and 76% in six months
  • 46% of complaints were resolved with positive outcomes for consumers
  • the number of complaints closed by COSL increased by 40%
  • 18,300 financial services providers are now members of COSL.

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman slams unacceptable behaviour by credit repair firms

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has announced that it is proposing to no longer deal with representatives of consumers who behave badly. It has issued a consultation paper seeking the views of industry participants and consumer bodies.

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Media Release - Information Commissioner recognises Credit Ombudsman Service to handle privacy complaints

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has been approved by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to handle privacy and credit reporting complaints.

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2013

 

Media Release - Credit Ombudsman Service appoints new Industry Director

The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Thomas Beregi as the new non-executive industry director of the company, effective 13 December 2013.

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman releases its 2013 annual report on operations

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) today released its Annual Report on Operations 2012-2013.

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Media Release - COSL cautions borrowers and lenders to be mindful of interest rate rises

The Credit Ombudsman, Mr Raj Venga, has warned that new home buyers may be stretching themselves too far in the pursuit of their dream home.

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman launches new website

The Credit Ombudsman Service Ltd (COSL) today launched its new website at www.cosl.com.au. The new online hub will foster more effective communication and engagement with COSL’s stakeholders and the general public. 

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Media Release - Credit Ombudsman supports plea by Financial Counsellors’ Association

COSL has supported a plea by the Financial Counsellors’ Association of Queensland (FCAQ) for continued funding.

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Media release - support for flood disaster victims

The Credit Ombudsman Service Ltd (COSL) extends its sympathy to those affected by the recent and ongoing floods in parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales, and reminds its mortgage manager and non-bank lender members to be wary of the devastation caused by these floods when considering cases of financial hardship.

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Media release - financial hardship concerns over widespread bushfires

In light of the recent and widespread fires across the country, the Credit Ombudsman Service Ltd (COSL) is urging its non-bank lenders and mortgage managers to be mindful of borrowers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the crisis.

The fires have been described as the worst in almost half a century in parts of north-west NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia’s mid-north region.

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2012

 

Media release - COSL releases Annual Report on Operations 2011 - 2012

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) today released its Annual Report on its operations for 2011-2012.

Highlights for the year include:

  • financial hardship cases continue to feature as the single largest source of complaints, being 36% of all complaints received
  • almost 2,700 complaints were received, up by 38% from previous year
  • almost 16,000 enquiries were received by phone, on-line or post
  • 56% of all complaints were closed within 3 months of receipt and 76% were closed within 6 months of being received membership increased by 9%

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Media release - COSL appoints new consumer director

The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Loretta Kreet as the new non-executive consumer director of the company, effective from 19 December 2012.

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Media release - COSL releases independent review

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has released an independent review of its operations against benchmarks prescribed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

External dispute resolution (EDR) schemes such as COSL must meet benchmarks about accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness as a condition of their approval by ASIC.

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Media release - annual report on operations 2010 - 2011

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) today released its Annual Report on Operations.

Highlights for the year include:

  • financial hardship cases continue to feature as the single largest source of complaints
  • almost 2,000 complaints were received, up by 72%
  • almost 16,000 contacts from consumers were received by phone, on-line or post
  • membership increased by 22% (closer to 16,600 as of today)

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2011

 

Media release - responsible lending

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has issued a position statement providing guidance on how it will deal with allegations of irresponsible lending that may be made against its members. Almost all non-bank lenders, pay day lenders, finance brokers and securitisation trustees and funders are members of COSL.

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Media release - ombudsman cautions borrowers about fixing home loan rates

The Credit Ombudsman urges borrowers to carefully consider the implications of fixing their home loan interest rates before committing to a fixed rate.

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Media release - COSL appoints new chair of board

The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Mark Scanlon as the new non-executive director of the company and Chair of the Board.

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Media release - COSL appoints deputy ombudsman

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has announced the appointment of Mr Andrew Smith as its new Deputy Ombudsman.

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Media release - Queensland floods and financial hardship

The Credit Ombudsman Service urges Queensland borrowers affected by floods not to delay seeking financial hardship relief.

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2010

 

The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has released its Annual Report on Operations for 2009/2010.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► COSL releases its annual report on operations for 2010

 

We have welcomed the new Commonwealth consumer credit legislation which commences on 1 July 2010. The new laws are aimed at stamping out predatory lending practices and unethical operators in the credit market.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► COSL welcomes new credit legislation


2009

 

The Credit Ombudsman, Mr Raj Venga, has applauded the Commonwealth Government’s decision to increase to $500,000 the monetary threshold under which borrowers with loans not exceeding that amount may seek assistance from lenders if they are experiencing financial hardship.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► COSL applauds government change

 

Mr Raj Venga, Credit Ombudsman, said this morning that “The human tragedy being experienced by ordinary Australians as a result of the horrific bushfires in Victoria and the relentless floods in North and North West Queensland will undoubtedly tip a significant number of borrowers and their families into severe financial hardship”.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► Victorian bushfires and financial relief


2008

 

Credit Ombudsman urges Victorian borrowers from Cranbourne’s Brookland Greens Estate not to delay seeking financial hardship relief

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► Brookland Green

 

Credit Ombudsman urges WA borrowers not to delay seeking financial hardship relief.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► WA gas supply disruption

 

The Credit Ombudsman takes the lead on financial hardship.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► COSL's financial hardship guideline


2007

 

The Credit Ombudsman has released its Annual Report on Operations 2007.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► Annual Report on Operations 2007

 

Credit Ombudsman welcomes hardship relief.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► MFAA hardship relief

 

New Rules and Guidelines aimed at empowering the Credit Ombudsman Service to deal more effectively with credit-related complaints have been adopted.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► New COSL Rules

 

Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) has announced a new and innovative fee structure for handling complaints about its members.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► New COSL fee structure

 

Credit Ombudsman in good hands with the reappointment of its Directors.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► Reappointment of Directors


2006

 

The Credit Ombudsman Service Ltd (COSL) has released its Annual Report on Operations for 2005 - 2006.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► Annual Report on Operations 2006

 

The Board of the Credit Ombudsman Services Limited (COSL) today announced the appointment of Mr Raj Venga to the role of Credit Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer.

Follow this link for a full copy of the media release in PDF ► CEO appointment