AFCA has developed an Engagement Charter to summarise what it expects from all users of its service, including AFCA.
The AFCA Engagement Charter shares AFCA’s values and outlines the behaviour it expects from financial firms, complainants and AFCA employees when resolving disputes. It also outlines AFCA’s obligations to be fair, independent and impartial, as stated in AFCA’s Rules.
The Charter is not a new set of guidelines, it is instead a living document that makes the roles, responsibilities and expectations of each party more explicit so that AFCA’s stakeholders have a shared understanding of good conduct.
Key to the Charter is AFCA’s expectation that all parties cooperate reasonably with the common goal of bringing finality to a complaint. It says all parties should engage with each other and AFCA in a way that is transparent and honest, respectful and fair, in good faith, and efficient and cooperative.
The Charter also sets out how AFCA will respond to financial firms and complainants that fail to comply with its expectations when resolving a dispute. As stated in the ACFA Rules, it can, at its discretion, stop engaging with a party in exceptional circumstances.
The Charter was developed after consultation with our stakeholders and we thank them for their feedback. Some of the high level themes from our consultation feedback included the need for AFCA to provide transparency around processes which underpin the principles in the Charter, clarity around roles and responsibilities and publication of reporting data. AFCA is addressing this important feedback and undertaking improvements to our service.
AFCA will call out and escalate behaviour it considers inconsistent with the principles in the Charter and will act against parties that fail to meet its standards.