Australian Senate to examine airline payment card mailout - report

SYDNEY Thu Feb 6, 2014 8:55pm EST

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SYDNEY Feb 7 (Reuters) - Australia's Senate will examine how Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia secured "no-action" letters from the corporate regulator which allowed them to send millions of unsolicited payment cards to their loyalty card members, according to a report.

Senators have raised concerns with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the airlines over the mailout of millions of new "stored value" cards to their loyalty programme members. The regulator and the airlines have been asked to make submissions to an inquiry, according to Compliance Complete, a Thomson Reuters publication.

"Those concerns go to the apparent issuing of unsolicited transaction cards to members, the levying of significant fees when loads on debit cards are exhausted and the apparent shortcoming in the Act, whereby some forms of cards - hybrid cards and loyalty cards - are not covered in the relevant legislation," Senator Mark Bishop, the chair of the Senate Economics Reference Committee, told Compliance Complete.

Some lawyers and consumer groups have criticised the mailout of the stored-value cards to members without their consent. (Reporting by Nathan Lynch at Compliance Complete.; The Compliance Complete service of Thomson Reuters Accelus provides a regulatory news, analysis, rules and developments, with coverage of more than 230 regulators and exchanges.)

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