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About FCRC About FCRC

The Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc (FCRC) is the peak body and professional Association for Financial Counsellors in Victoria.

The Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc (FCRC) is the peak body and professional association for financial counsellors in Victoria.

FCRC provides resources and support to financial counsellors and their agencies who assist vulnerable Victorians experiencing financial difficulty. FCRC works with government, banks, utilities, debt collection and other stakeholders to improve approaches to financial difficulty for vulnerable consumers.

FCRC does not provide financial counselling directly to the public. If you need a financial counsellor, please call 1800 007 007

Purpose

  • Advocate for vulnerable Victorian consumers who are experiencing financial difficulty*
  • Support the financial counselling sector through its casework, advocacy and law reform, to adopt and maintain best practice.

*We do this through our work supporting financial counsellors and through stakeholder relationships to create systemic change. We don't provide direct advocacy for individuals.

Objectives

To ensure that:

  • financial counsellors in Victoria are supported to comply with best practice
  • the financial counselling sector has secure, stable and sustainable funding
  • financial counselling has a high profile
  • vulnerable consumers have an effective voice
  • the Council is a strong, adaptive organisation that is valued by members, government and other stakeholders.

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A bit of history

FCRC commenced in 1978 as the Financial Counsellor’s Association of Victoria (Inc.) and later changed its name to the Consumer Advocacy and Financial Counselling Association of Victoria (CAFCA). Following a review of the Constitution in 1996 CAFCA changed its name to the Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc (FCRC).

Since then, FCRC has grown to include nearly 250 financial counsellor and organisation members, all of which are focused on different areas of consumer protection and financial counselling practice. Members of FCRC are very active in supporting each other through participation in regional, statewide and case specific working groups.

The systemic advocacy, policy and project work of FCRC has contributed to an increase in the number of financial counsellors in Victoria. This has also resulted in the development of numerous resources to assist consumers and caseworkers to deal with financial hardship, and to advocate strongly for those who need it most.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does FCRC work with financial counsellors?

As the peak body representing financial counsellors, we are not only advocates for the continued funding and expansion of the sector to meet community need, we are also the primary support and development body focused on professionalizing and resourcing the sector.

We do this is a number of ways, including:

  • The provision of professional development training
  • The development and support of working groups and regional networks
  • The co-ordination and delivery of an annual statewide conference focusing on issues relevant to financial counsellors and their clients.
  • Representing the sector to industry and government
  • Assisting financial counsellors to meet the ongoing requirements which allow agencies who employ them to hold an ASIC Exemption

 

 


How does FCRC work with industry and government?

 

We work with government (both state and federal), banks, utilities, debt collection and other industries, and with many other sectors and organisations that impact those who do it tougher than most.

We meet regularly with industry and government to communicate issues of concern for financial counsellors and their clients.

Through our relationship with other state bodies and the national peak, Financial Counselling Australia, we are often able to resolve issues and reach consensus on how hardship provisions and communication with the sector should occur.

 

 


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Further reading

FCRC constitution

The FCRC constitution was adopted in November 2013 and serves as a guideline for all members.

The FCRC Brand Story

With 2016 bringing a year of change for FCRC, it was the perfect opportunity to update the identity to be more reflective of the organisation’s values, purpose and new strategic direction. Read the full brand story below.