The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made available Empowering consumers in the digital age, a speech delivered by ACCC chairperson Rod Sims at the ACCC-hosted National Consumer Congress 2014 in Sydney on 13 March 2014.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia has handed down its decision in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Breast Check Pty Ltd  FCA 190 (10 March 2014), finding that breast imaging provider Breast Check Pty Ltd (Breast Check) engaged in "misleading or deceptive conduct and made false representations about the devices used in its breast imaging services".
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has obtained a Court order to freeze accounts belonging to Mutual Wealth, which the SEC alleges (25 February 2014) has been "exploiting investors through a website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, falsely promising extraordinary returns of [2-3%] per week for investors who open accounts with the firm".
Jennifer M. Keas, Senior Counsel - Foley & Lardner LLP
Rebecca R. Hanson, Senior Counsel - Foley & Lardner LLP
Jennifer Toussaint, Associate - Foley & Lardner LLP
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has had financial services organizations on their toes since its inception. Keeping up with the changing laws, regulations, official guidance and enforcement actions can be difficult. As we get into the new year, it is important to look for take-aways from recent CFPB enforcement action and understand what is coming up this year.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January - December 2013 (February 2014), which provides an overview of the complaints received by the FTC in 2013. The FTC received over 2 million complaints during the calendar year 2013, of which 55% related to fraud, 14% related to identity theft and 31% related to other types. Identity theft was the number one complaint category, 30% of which were tax- or wage-related.
The United Kingdom Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has urged large energy suppliers to return credit left in former customers' accounts or, if it cannot be returned, to "use it to benefit customers more generally and to make clear what to do when closing an account, the remaining sums held and the reasons for this".
The United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that Credit Suisse Group AG (Credit Suisse) has agreed to "pay [US]$196 million and admit [to] wrongdoing" to settle charges that it breached US federal securities law by providing unregistered financial services.
The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made available an Order (15 January 2014) requiring light bulb manufacturer Lights of America Inc (Lights of America) and its owners to pay the FTC US$21 million for "misleading consumers by exaggerating the performance of their [light-emitting diode (LED)] light bulbs".
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its latest Compliance and enforcement policy (February 2014), which "outlines the ACCC's priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters".
United States-based bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (Lehman) is to pay US$767 million to the US Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) to settle a US$1.2 billion claim over two loans issued by Freddie Mac to Lehman a matter of months before Lehman filed for bankruptcy.
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