2020–21 Annual Review

About us

AFCA is Australia’s financial industry ombudsman service that provides fair, free and independent solutions to financial disputes.

In 2020–21, AFCA received over 70,510 complaints, and closed 73,928 complaints. AFCA currently resolves 50% of complaints within an average of 31 days, providing a timely and fair outcome that allows consumers and small business owners to get on with their lives.

AFCA’s service is offered as an alternative forum to tribunals and courts to resolve complaints that consumers and small businesses have with their financial firms.

AFCA is a one-stop shop for consumers and small businesses that have a dispute with their financial firm over issues such as banking, credit, general insurance, financial advice, investments, life insurance or superannuation.

Our role is to assist consumers and small businesses to reach agreements with financial firms about how to resolve their complaints. We are impartial and independent. We do not act for either party, or advocate for their position.

When a complaint is lodged, AFCA refers it back to the financial firm and provides an opportunity for consumers and financial firms to resolve their financial complaint directly between themselves.

If an agreement can’t be reached, we can investigate the complaint and try to resolve it using negotiation or conciliation.

If this is unsuccessful, AFCA can make a decision in accordance with the decision-making powers under its Rules, either as a recommendation to the parties or a formal ombudsman decision.

However, the vast majority of complaints are resolved by complainants and financial firms through the referral back process, negotiation, conciliation and our early assessment. Only 7% of cases require AFCA to make a formal ombudsman decision.

AFCA is structured as a not-for-profit and non-government organisation. AFCA is a company limited by guarantee and governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consists of an independent Chair, and an equal number of Directors with consumer and industry expertise.

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Please be advised we cannot provide you with financial or legal advice. However, we may be able to refer you to a community legal centre or financial counselling service if you need help.

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