SYDNEY Feb 7 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.)