The Board of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is an independent, expert group of Directors with extensive consumer, industry, management and governance experience. The Board ensures that AFCA is carrying out its functions as required under its Constitution and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and that AFCA provides an independent, fair, accountable, efficient and effective service, with strong corporate governance.
Role of the Board
The AFCA Board develops and oversees AFCA’s strategic direction and ensures the external dispute resolution scheme we operate complies with its obligations under law. It provides ongoing strategic input and guidance to the Chief Ombudsman and CEO and the AFCA Senior Leadership Group.
The Board is also responsible for approving and overseeing the Rules that AFCA follows when we investigate a complaint. The Board regularly commissions independent reviews and audits of the operations and procedures of AFCA.
The Board exercises its powers with a focus on ensuring the independence, integrity and fairness of AFCA’s decision-making process is maintained. The Board also ensures that AFCA is appropriately resourced to deliver our services in a timely, efficient and effective manner. The Board delegates powers to AFCA officers through the Chief Ombudsman and CEO.
Composition of the Board
The Board is made up of an independent Chair and an equal number of non-executive Directors with consumer and industry expertise. There must always be an equal number of consumer and industry Directors to ensure fairness and independence.
The AFCA Constitution requires that the AFCA Board must have between three and five industry and consumer Directors, and no more than 11 Directors in total.
Following authorisation of the AFCA scheme in March 2018, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services appointed the inaugural AFCA Chair and four of the Directors. Going forward, the power to appoint Directors rests solely with the AFCA Board.
The independent Chair leads the Board. The inaugural Board Chair, Helen Coonan was appointed by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services in April 2018, but future independent Chairs will be appointed by the AFCA Board. The role requires significant expertise in balancing the needs of all stakeholders.
ACFA’s industry Directors have expert experience and knowledge in one or more of the financial services industries that AFCA members operate in. They are committed to the highest standards of corporate governance and independence, and consult with the financial industry regularly to ensure they continue to understand current issues across industry sectors. They do not advocate for, or represent, industry and must act in the best interests of AFCA.
Our consumer Directors have extensive experience in representing consumer and small interests in the financial industry and other community sectors, and they are experts in consumer affairs and small business issues. They are committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, and consult regularly with consumer organisations and small business operators to ensure they continue to provide expert insight into issues affecting consumers, small business and the community. They do not advocate for, or represent, consumers and small business and must act in the best interests of AFCA.
Remuneration of the Board
Board members are paid for their services, under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The amount they are paid takes into account AFCA status as a not-for-profit company, determinations from the Remuneration Tribunal and relevant practices of other similar organisations.