The Financial Rights Legal Centre is a community legal centre specialising in financial services, particularly in the areas of consumer credit, banking, debt recovery and insurance. It is the only such Centre in NSW, and one of the only centres in Australia that fully integrates telephone assistance and financial counselling with legal advice and representation. We have been providing advice and advocacy to consumers since 1987. Financial Rights also operates the Insurance Law Service, a national specialist consumer insurance advice service, Mob Strong Debt Help, and the Credit & Debt Legal Advice Line.
As a community legal centre Financial Rights is largely government funded and independently managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. We maintain a particular focus on issues that affect vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers. We provide a well-integrated combination of information, advice, casework, and education to assist consumers in financial stress. We also conduct research and collect data from our extensive contact with consumers to campaign for changes to law and industry practice for the benefit of consumers. We employ both financial counsellors and solicitors to provide the best service for our clients.
Financial Rights acknowledges the financial support for our services and website provided by the Financial Counselling Services Program administered by the NSW Department of Finance and Services (Fair Trading), the funds received under the National Partnership Agreement from the State and Federal Attorney-General’s Departments, and the Community Legal Services Programs funds received directly from the Federal Attorney General’s Department for our core services.
We also receive funding from the Financial Counselling Foundation and Financial Counselling Australia and we have been the beneficiary of a number of Community Benefit Funds from industry members as a result of enforcement activity undertaken by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. We also receive one-off residual remediation funds from financial services providers. These are compensation funds that were unable to be returned to individuals for losses arising from misconduct or compliance failures by those providers, and are donated to organisations providing services to benefit consumers.