The Turnbull Government is establishing a new body to boost the advancement of financial capability across Australia.
“Financial literacy and capability is critical for economic empowerment, including for Australian women and young and older Australians,” said the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP.
“This new body will be a game-changer, a lasting institution that will support consumers and build financial capability for all Australians no matter what their circumstances.”
The new body, a not for profit public company, will manage and distribute the $40 million in community benefit payments that form part of the settlement agreements between the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC), ANZ and NAB, relating to the manipulation of the Bank Bill Swap Rate, and $10 million committed by the Government to developing women’s financial capability in the Federal Budget.
“It will become Australia’s peak body in championing financial literacy and capability amongst Australians. It will use funds received as a result of corporate wrongdoing to educate and empower Australian consumers of financial products and advice,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
The body will administer grants and improve capabilities amongst Australians of financial products and services. It is expected that this body will be the largest of its kind in Australia and seek deductible gift recipient status in order to enable it to receive tax-deductible donations from the public.
The new body is independent of Government and will be overseen by a Board chaired by Paul Clitheroe AM, one of Australia’s leading voices and advocates on financial literacy. He will be joined by Elaine Henry OAM and Air Commodore Robert Brown AM.
“This new body will be to financial literacy and capability, what beyondblue has been to mental health,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
The establishment of the body underscores the Turnbull Government’s commitment to growing the financial capabilities of Australian consumers and supports other Government initiatives including the National Financial Literacy Strategy, the Government’s Strategy to Boost Women’s Workforce Participation and the More Choices for a Longer Life package.
Where ASIC accepts Enforceable Undertakings in future, it may agree to further community benefit payments to be paid to the company.