Referring borrowers to financial counsellors

The Financial Hardship Principles issued by Abacus state that credit unions will (where appropriate and subject to availability) provide details about external financial counselling services (para. 7).

The Mutual Banking Code of Practice states that a credit union will have procedures in place to ensure members are referred to a financial counselling or similar service in appropriate cases (subject to availability) (clause 24.2).

Where can you find out about financial counsellors?

The Abacus website refers members to –
• the Commonwealth Financial Counselling Directory
• the Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association

Here are some suggested actions for credit unions:
• create a separate webpage on your website for financial hardship/assistance and include details of how members can contact a financial counsellor;
• include details in FSG or financial hardship brochures or newsletters;
• make available at branches copies of the Abacus brochures on managing credit and related material.

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