On 1 November 2018 the new body responsible for handling complaints relating to financial service providers was introduced. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has replaced the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), providing a centralised dispute resolution scheme for consumers and small businesses.
Like its predecessors, the AFCA considers complaints about:
- Credit, finance and loans
- Banking deposits and payments
- Investments and financial advice
The aim of the AFCA is to provide an accessible, consolidated External Dispute Resolution (EDR) service that assists consumers and small businesses to reach agreements with their financial firms about how to resolve complaints.
Who can the complaint be about?
Financial firms that are AFCA members, including:
- banks and other credit providers
- financial planning firms
- general insurers
- insurance broking firms
- life insurers
- superannuation fund trustees,
- retirement savings account (RSA) providers
- stock broking firms
- fund management companies.
For complaints to be considered, the financial firm in dispute must be an AFCA member at the time the complaint is submitted. If the financial firm is not a member, AFCA will not consider the complaint – even if they were a member at the time the conduct in dispute occurred.
It’s important to remember that you must attempt to resolve any complaints with the financial service you are in dispute with before lodging a complaint with AFCA.
If you have a complaint to raise with a financial firm, or wish to lodge a complaint with AFCA, contact one of our experienced professionals for further information and assistance or submit an online enquiry today.