ACCC cracking down on comparison websites

The ACCC is set to crack down on comparison websites for loans, credit cards, insurance, flights and utilities.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the crackdown is not to shut them down as they can be a useful marketing tool for business, but to avoid them from misleading consumers. 

The MFAA has welcomed the move, with CEO Phil Naylor telling Australian Broker Online that the sites are no substitute for a real mortgage broker. 

“While comparison sites can be a useful tool in assembling information about home loans, there is no substitute for potential borrowers visiting an MFAA credit adviser to receive detailed advice about all the aspects and considerations in relation to the most appropriate finance for them,” he said.

“There is far more required in analysing what is the most appropriate home loan and other credit product for a borrower than merely comparing interest rates on a comparison website.” 

Consumer group Choice CEO Alan Kirkland told Fairfax Media that he welcomed the crackdown, saying the comparison websites often don’t present the best options for consumers. 

“That’s the way they make money,” he said. 

“They usually only list businesses that pay them and they often rank results on how much businesses are willing to pay rather than what’s the best option.”


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