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Farmers affected by the worsening drought crisis in NSW and Queensland are being urged to contact their bank to access assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans. The drought assistance has been readily available during the drought, already helping many customers.
Australia’s banks have today backed the Federal Government’s move to limit cash payments to $10,000 to tackle the ‘black economy’, however have highlighted the need for any reform to be implemented carefully.
The South Australian Government’s introduction into parliament today of a bill to establish an Adult Safeguarding Unit delivers on a key change campaigned for by Australia’s banks and senior’s groups to establish a body to make good faith reports of suspected elder financial abuse that can then be investigated.
Australians can now get on board the drive for change to tackle Elder Financial Abuse in a new campaign launched today by the Australian Banking Association, National Seniors, the Council on the Ageing, the Older Persons Advocacy Network and the Finance Sector Union.
Today’s agreement by the nation’s top lawmakers to identify options to standardise Power of Attorney orders across the country is a significant step in tackling the issue of elder financial abuse however there remains more work to be done.
The banking industry, along with COTA Australia and National Seniors, are calling on all the nation’s Attorneys General to agree their COAG meeting tomorrow to key changes which will empower bank staff to help detect and prevent elder financial abuse.
Australians are urged to be on guard against unscrupulous, unsolicited callers, claiming to represent the Australian Banking Association and asking for bank details to issue a ‘refund’, survey customer satisfaction or record banking history.
The announcement in this year’s budget of a move to standardise power of attorney orders and create a national online register will help empower bank staff as they play their part in tackling the growing problem of financial abuse against the elderly across the country.
Today’s release of the final report of independent governance expert, Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM, shows that Australia’s banks have made significant progress on the Better Banking Reform Program, including finalising many of its measures.
In a first for the industry, retail banks in Australia will be required to sign up to the new Banking Code of Practice as a condition of membership to the Australian Banking Association.