This matter has now been referred to ASIC. For more information please contact ASIC directly.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is seeking contact from ex-CIO members who are yet to finalise their membership with us.
We have published a list of these financial firms below. We believe these organisations may need to be members of AFCA as a condition of their financial services or credit licence. If a financial firm holding a current financial services or credit licence is still operating, and has not joined AFCA in accordance with their licence requirements, they are likely to be in breach of their legal obligations.
AFCA has been liaising closely with ASIC about financial firms that have not taken out AFCA membership and ASIC will be taking appropriate action against these firms.
AFCA is asking organisations who were previously members of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and have not taken out AFCA membership, to check if they are on the published list. They then need to immediately take out or finalise their AFCA membership application if they are required to be a member, or contact ASIC to cancel their licence if they are no longer operating.
Media release: AFCA seeks proof-of-life for 231 financial firms (28 November 2018)
Who are the organisations AFCA is seeking?
There are two groups AFCA is seeking contact from:
Group 1: Were previous members of the CIO and have not applied for membership with AFCA despite having a requirement to do so as a holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or Australian Credit Licence (ACL).
Group 2: Were previous members of the CIO and have not applied for membership with AFCA, but do not hold a current AFSL or ACL – AFCA is attempting to clarify their requirement to membership and if they do in fact have a requirement to be a member of an EDR scheme.
What do the listed organisations need to do?
- Check the list AFCA has published
- If you are required to become an AFCA member you need to either:
- immediately apply for AFCA membership. This can be done online at AFCA’s website at https://www.afca.org.au/members/apply-for-membership; or
- if you are no longer operating a financial services business please contact ASIC and arrange to cancel your licence.
For information regarding financial firms in breach, please contact ASIC.
Additional background information
Generally, financial firms or persons that hold:
- an Australian Financial Service Licence (AFSL),
- an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) or are an Authorised Credit Representative (ACR) of an ACL, or
- a Registrable Superannuation Entity licence,
are required by law to be a member of AFCA.
Entities that are Privacy Act participants and are required to be a member of a recognised external dispute resolution scheme may also need to take out membership with AFCA.
 Some limited exemptions from holding membership of AFCA apply, mainly for financial firms that do not provide services to retail investors. See Table 2 in ASIC Regulatory Guide 267, Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.