Australian Financial Complaints Authority

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Australian Financial Complaints Authority
AFCA Logo.png
Predecessor
  • Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
  • Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO)
  • Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT)
Formation1 November 2018 (2018-11-01)
TypeOmbudsman
HeadquartersMelbourne, Victoria (Australia)
Location
  • Australia
Membership
Australian banks, insurers, credit providers, financial advisers and planners, debt collection agencies, superannuation members and other businesses that provide financial products and services
Chief Ombudsman
David Locke
AffiliationsAustralian Securities and Investment Commission
Websitewww.afca.org.au

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority or AFCA is an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme for consumers who are unable to resolve complaints with member financial services organisations[1]. It is operated as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee was authorised by the then responsible minister, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).[2]

AFCA replaced the three pre-existing EDR schemes of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).[3]

Membership of AFCA is a requirement under law or license condition of all financial firms and financial service providers.[4]

AFCA is led by the Chief Ombudsman and CEO, presently David Locke.[5][6]

History[edit]

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority was established on 1 November 2018, replacing the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).[7] The Australian Government announced on 9 May 2017 AFCA would be established in response to the review of external dispute resolution and complaints arrangements in the financial system.[8][2]

Operations and processes[edit]

Rules[edit]

The Rules of AFCA outline the types of complaints that AFCA can consider, as well as their procedures, remedies and reporting obligations. The Rules were approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on 12 September 2018.[9]

Resolution process[edit]

The AFCA only considers a complaint after the consumer has first attempted to resolve the dispute directly with their financial service provider. If the dispute is unable to be resolved or the outcome is unsatisfactory, AFCA can then consider it.

Complaints can be filed with AFCA through an online form on their website. An AFCA representative will then contact the consumer and relevant financial service provider to settle the dispute. In the case a settlement cannot be reached, an AFCA case analyst will develop a balanced solution. The consumer can then either accept the proposed settlement from AFCA or take their dispute to court.[7]

Governance[edit]

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is governed by a Board of Directors, which includes equal numbers of industry and consumer representatives. The Independent Chair of the Board is Helen Coonan.[10] The Board appoints an independent Chief Ombudsman and CEO, presently David Locke.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heraldsun.com.au | Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". www.heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  2. ^ a b "Australian Financial Complaints Authority". treasury.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  3. ^ "Super ombudsman's new powers will command respect". Financial Review. 2018-10-28. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  4. ^ "ASIC warning to AFCA laggards | Money Management". 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  5. ^ "Subscribe to The Australian | Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps". www.theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  6. ^ a b "David Locke to Lead Australian Financial Complaints Authority | PBA". Pro Bono Australia. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  7. ^ a b "AFCA: The acronym all Australian consumers should know". The New Daily. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  8. ^ Hastie, Eliot (2018-10-31). "AFCA officially opens for business". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  9. ^ Commission, c=au;o=Australian Government;ou=Australian Government Australian Securities and Investments. "18-263MR ASIC approves Australian Financial Complaints Authority rules". asic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  10. ^ "The Complaints Whisperer: Helen Coonan's clear vision for the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority". www.intheblack.com. Retrieved 2018-11-16.

External links[edit]