This fact sheet gives information about actions you may wish to consider when you have raised a complaint about an insolvent company.
A company becomes insolvent when it is unable to pay its debts when they are due.
- Contacting the receiver, administrator or liquidator
- Other help
- What is AFCA’s role?
- The compensation scheme of last resort
- Want more information?
There are three main types of actions that may then occur - receivership, administration and liquidation.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) provides information about each of these in the following guides:
Contacting the receiver, administrator or liquidator
When a financial firm is insolvent it is important that that you make direct contact with the receiver, administrator or liquidator and provide any “proof of debt” documentation you may have (i.e. information about your claim). You can use the information that has been provided throughout the complaint process to support your proof of debt. If a decision has been made by AFCA, you can use that.
If your claim is accepted by the receiver, administrator or liquidator, you will be classed as an unsecured creditor. This means your claim is ranked behind employees and secured creditors for the distribution of any money that the company may have. If a company does not have substantial assets, there may not be any funds available to unsecured creditors.
Financial firms are required to have adequate professional indemnity insurance. The liquidator may provide you with further information about the financial firm’s professional indemnity insurance cover.
You can find the contact details AFCA holds through our financial firm database for any administrator, receiver or liquidator: afca.org.au/find-a-financial-firm
Our website also has links to the following services, which may be of assistance to you:
- National Debt Helpline
- Community legal centres
- Insurance Law Service
- Consumer credit legal centres
- Legal Aid commissions
What is AFCA’s role?
We are an independent complaint resolution service offered as a free alternative to the courts. Our role is to investigate and resolve complaints about financial firms that are AFCA members that come within our Rules. You can find out more about our role on our website: afca.org.au/what-to-expect/consumers
AFCA does not regulate the Australian financial services industry. The regulator is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). You can find out more about ASIC’s role on its website: asic.gov.au/for-consumers
The Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR)
On 22 June 2023, the Australian Parliament passed legislation establishing a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR).
The CSLR will facilitate the payment of up to $150,000 in compensation to eligible consumers who have received an AFCA determination awarding compensation in relation to complaints in one of four areas: personal financial advice, credit intermediation, securities dealing or credit provision.
Want more information?
Our Rules and Operational Guidelines: afca.org.au/about-afca/rules-and-guidelines