Update on timeframes 

AFCA wrote to you to confirm that your complaint was progressing to our Case Management stage (the stage your complaint is assigned to a Dispute Resolution Specialist). 

We are currently allocating complaints which received this correspondence between 25 January 2024 and 17 February 2024.

These timeframes were updated on 12 April 2024. AFCA will update this page regularly with the latest information on expected timeframes. Please note, this update is an indicative timeframe only.

Delays in allocating banking and finance complaints

AFCA is currently experiencing delays in allocating banking and finance complaints to Dispute Resolution Specialists (case workers). This is due to a significant increase in complaints across most product areas – particularly in banking due to unauthorised transactions and scams. 

While AFCA is increasing the size of its team to better support and help resolve disputes, and prioritising financial hardship complaints, the large number of complaints means delays are likely to continue for some time. 

We apologise for the inconvenience and acknowledge that dispute resolution can be a difficult time for many people. We will work to resolve complaints as quickly as we can, and we thank you for your understanding and for showing respect to our staff as they work with you.

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If your circumstances change, or you require urgent help from AFCA, please contact info@afca.org.au.

About the AFCA complaint process 

When you lodge a complaint with AFCA, we first refer your complaint back to your financial firm (such as your bank) so they have an opportunity to resolve the issue with you directly. Generally, financial firms have up to 30 days to respond.

More than half of the complaints lodged with AFCA resolve at this early stage.   

However, if your financial firm does not respond after 30 days, is unable to resolve the issue, or you are not happy with their response, AFCA progresses your complaint to the next stage of our process. 

It is at this point in our process, allocating Dispute Resolution Specialists (case workers), that we are experiencing delays. 

If your complaint has progressed to the next stage after being referred to your financial firm, your complaint is in the Case Management allocation queue and will be processed as soon as possible.  

Find out more about our process here.  

What to do next 

We strongly encourage you to stay in contact with your financial firm throughout the complaints process. AFCA is also encouraging financial firms to talk to their customers regularly to avoid disputes.  

While we work to assign a Dispute Resolution Specialist (case worker) to your complaint, we suggest you: 

  • make sure you have all your documentation and evidence ready. You can use this document checklist on our website.   
  • prepare a statement of financial position if you're experiencing financial hardship (see more below) 
  • let us know if you need any additional support or would like to appoint a representative to help you.

It may be that you resolve your complaint with your financial firm after you have already made a complaint to AFCA. If this happens, please let us know by emailing info@afca.org.au.   

Let us know if your circumstances have changed

If there is an urgent matter related to your complaint that needs our attention, please contact us. We will ask you to provide details and supporting documents, so we can assess whether your complaint should be prioritised. 

If you are experiencing financial hardship

AFCA has specialised teams to handle complaints relating to financial hardship, and we are doing what we can to prioritise these complaints.

We use streamlined processes for hardship complaints to ensure these are dealt with in an efficient, timely and fair manner. Financial hardship complaints will be identified as soon as possible after we receive them. 

Staff with headset talking

Financial counsellors 

If you are struggling financially, there are financial counselling services you can contact for help. This is a free service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies.

Find out more. 

Information for representatives, including paid representatives

If you are representing a complainant (for example a consumer advocate, financial counsellor, or paid representative) please communicate the delay to your client to help manage their expectations.

More information for consumer advocates and financial counsellors can be found here.

More information for paid representatives, including AFCA’s expectations and a guide about the information required depending on the product and issue of a complaint, can be found here.

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