Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) is the national voice of the financial counselling profession in Australia. We are a not-for-profit organisation that:
- Provides resources and support for financial counsellors;
- Advocates to increase access to financial counselling;
- Works to raise the profile of financial counsellors;
- Advocates for a fairer marketplace; and
- Works to improve hardship processes for people in financial difficulty.
There are about 800 financial counsellors working in Australia. Through their efforts, thousands of Australians are able to overcome financial hardship.
An Australia with fewer people in financial hardship.
Support and promote the financial counselling profession
- We provide resources, coordinate training and professional development opportunities, and update and improve the Diploma qualification.
- We support our members, the seven state and territory financial counselling associations, to uphold the standards and professionalism of financial counselling in Australia.
- We run an annual conference bringing together key players from industry, government and the financial counselling community to share learning, provide professional development and to stay abreast of new developments.
- We support the network of financial capability workers who provide financial literacy education, including in remote areas.
- We work to raise the profile of financial counselling in Australia and increase access to the service.
National Debt Helpline
- We coordinate the National Debt Helpline telephone financial counselling service and website.
Policy and debate
- We contribute to policy development by writing submissions to government about systemic issues identified by financial counsellors.
- We contribute to public debate through comment in the media and contact with decision makers.
- We work collaboratively with industry, including financial service providers, debt collectors and utility companies, to improve processes for people in hardship.
Our funding comes from a range of sources. The majority is from the Government via a grant from the Federal Department of Social Services. We also generate some funds if there is a surplus from our annual conference. In the past, we have also received some funds from community benefit payments made as part of ASIC enforceable undertakings.
We have also received some funds from the banks. In 2017, the Commonwealth Bank provided funding that was used to provide training on domestic and family violence to financial counsellors and capability workers around Australia. The Commonwealth Bank provided further funding in 2019 to allow this training to be run again, and to also develop some new packages – working with men who use violence, elder abuse and training for specialist DFV workers. In January 2020, Westpac provided funds that will allow us to expand our capacity to support financial counselling services for people in towns and regions affected by the bushfires.