About FCRC

We provide resources and support to financial counsellors and the wider community.

We work with government, the banking, utilities, debt collection and with many other sectors and organisations that impact upon those who do it tougher.

Who is FCRC?

The Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc (FCRC) is the peak body for Financial Counsellors in Victoria. The FCRC actively supports Financial Counsellors by promoting the needs of those experiencing financial hardship.


What is a financial counsellor?

Financial Counsellors in Victoria are highly skilled paralegal professionals who provide assistance, advocacy, and information to those who are experiencing financial difficulty or who have problems with debt.

Financial Counsellors offer their services free of charge to their clients and provide advocacy impartially.

The FCRC does not provide financial counselling or advice.

Find a Free Financial Counsellor in your area »


What is the ASIC exemption and how does it apply to an agency and to a financial counsellor?

Financial counselling agencies that engage in credit activity as part of a financial counselling service are exempt from the requirement to hold a credit licence.

The exemption is subject to further conditions including that:

  • Financial counsellors do not give advice to clients about purchasing investment products, such as shares or managed investments; and
  • No fees or charges are paid by clients for any aspect of the financial counselling service; and
  • The financial counselling agency is likewise unable to be remunerated (including by commission) directly or indirectly in relation to any action of the client; and
  • The financial counselling agency does not operate or participate in a financial services business beyond the scope of this relief, and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that none of its employees do so.
  • In order to obtain this relief, individual financial counsellors must also be members of, or be eligible to be members of, a recognised National or State Financial Counselling Association. Membership requirements themselves set standards about conflicts of interest and professional conduct.

Membership of FCRC satisfies point five above, allowing an agency exemption from holding a credit licence.

You can read more about it here »


How does FCRC work with financial counsellors?

We work with financial counsellors in a number of ways.  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 FCs 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 do we work with industry and government?

The FCRC works with government (both state and federal), the banking, utilities, debt collection and other industries, and with many other sectors and organisations that impact upon 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.


How did FCRC originate?

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.


What else does FCRC do?

Since its inception the FCRC has grown to include nearly 250 financial counsellor and organization members, all of which are focused on different areas of consumer protection and financial counselling practice. The FCRC also convenes several financial counselling networks, which concentrate on region specific casework across Victoria.

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


  •  to advocate for vulnerable Victorian consumers who are experiencing financial difficulty *
  • to support the financial counselling sector through its casework, advocacy and law reform, to  adopt and maintain best practise


  • to ensure 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.

FCRC Constitution Adopted November 2013 »

Read the last FCRC Annual Report in our News and Media section

Read the FCRC Governance Policies here »


* We do this through our work supporting financial counsellors and through stakeholder relationships to create systemic change.  We do not prodive direct advocacy for individuals.


Please note:

The FCRC does not employ financial counsellors to provide financial counselling or advice.  We are unable to answer financial questions.

To locate your local financial counsellor or to receive information and advice over the phone, please call 1800 007 007.

Find a Free Financial Counsellor in your area »