Banking deposit transactions you can complain about  

Current accounts  

  • Business transaction accounts: A deposit account that you use for your everyday business transactions. 
  • Foreign currency accounts: A deposit account that holds funds in a foreign currency. We only have jurisdiction to consider a complaint if the account is governed by Australian law. 
  • Mortgage offset accounts: A deposit account where the balance is ‘offset’ (either fully or partially) against a home loan, reducing the amount of interest payable. 
  • Passbook accounts: An account with a passbook attached to it, containing a physical record of all transactions. 
  • Personal transaction accounts: A deposit account used by consumers for everyday transactions. 

Savings accounts 

  • Bank bills: A bank bill is a short‐term money market investment. The investor purchases a bank bill at a discount to its face value. The face value is the amount the investor will receive at the bill’s maturity date. The amount of discount (the difference between the face value and purchase price) represents the return to be earned by holding the bank bill to maturity. 
  • Cash management accounts: A deposit account that pays a reasonable amount of interest on funds deposited without requiring the funds to be deposited for a fixed term. 
  • First home buyer accounts: First home buyer accounts became available from 1 October 2008. Unlike an ordinary savings account or investment, you could only use the funds in this type of account to buy or build a home that you would live in and only after you had saved for at least four financial years. A first home saver account is a way of saving to buy or build your first home in which your savings attract a government contribution. 
  • Online accounts: An account that must be linked to another deposit account for the purpose of making deposits or withdrawals. It is generally conducted via the internet or telephone banking. 
  • Term deposits: A deposit account where money is held for a fixed term and interest accrues at a fixed rate. 

AFCA can also consider a complaint you have about a safe custody facility.  

Banking payment systems you can complain about  

AFCA can also consider complaints from consumers and small businesses about payments made from a banking account: 

  • ATM transactions: A transaction (deposit, withdrawal or balance enquiry) completed using an automatic teller machine. 
  • Bank drafts: A cheque drawn by one bank against funds deposited into its account at another bank, authorising the second bank to make payment to the individual named in the draft (for example, a foreign currency cheque drawn on an overseas bank). 
  • Cheques: A signed order in writing, addressed by a person to a financial institution, requiring the financial institution to pay a sum of money on demand. 
  • Counter transactions: A banking transaction conducted in person at a branch. 
  • Direct debits: A standing authority provided to a business (usually a third party company, but can also be provided to the financial firm) allowing it to directly debit a nominated account. The direct debit can be linked to an account with a financial institution (for example, personal transaction account or to a credit card). 
  • Electronic banking:Transactions carried out via internet banking and telephone banking. 
  • Foreign currency transfers: Transfer of foreign currency by an Australian financial institution (as sender) to an overseas recipient, or from an overseas sender, to an Australian financial institution (as recipient). 
  • Merchant facilities: Facility offered by financial firms to businesses to accept payment in forms other than cash (for example, EFTPOS, credit cards). Different card providers may require different merchant facilities (for example, AMEX, Diners, Visa and MasterCard). 
  • Telegraphic transfers: An electronic method of payment used to transfer funds between financial institutions. Can be either local (for example, between two Australian banks) or overseas. 

Non-cash payments you can complain about  

Under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) licenses issuers and distributors of 'non-cash payments' facilities. 'Non-cash payments' are defined as 'payments made otherwise than by the physical delivery of Australian or foreign currency in the form of notes and/or coins'. 

Complaints AFCA can consider about non-cash payments include the following: 

  • Loyalty programs: Loyalty schemes are operated by, or on behalf of, a person (the ‘issuer’) linked to the goods and services they offer or provide (for example, credit card services, flight services or store goods). The loyalty scheme is designed to encourage the issuer’s customers to use or spend on the issuer’s goods and services. 
  • Noncash systems: A facility through which a person makes non‐cash payments (for example, PayPal). 
  • Stored value cards: A facility that allows you to put money into a card that can be used to make purchases for goods and services that is generally offered through a credit card scheme.
  • Travellers’ cheques: A pre‐printed, fixed‐amount cheque designed to allow the person signing it to make an unconditional payment to someone else as a result of having paid the issuer for that privilege. 

Types of complaints AFCA can consider about banking deposits and payments  

There are several issues you may want to complain to us about regarding your banking deposit or payment. This includes the following: 

  • Transactions such as incorrect or dishonoured transactions, bounced cheques or dishonoured direct debits, incorrect payments including ATM malfunctions, over the counter errors, lost funds, failure to make payment on demand in relation to a passbook, term deposit, bond, bank cheque or bank guarantee, wrong amount paid or payment sent to wrong person.


    This also includes mistaken internet payments – where you entered a wrong account number or BSB, or where an error by the sending or receiving bank or financial firm has resulted in the payment being sent to the wrong account. Unauthorised transactions such as an unauthorised direct debit, forged cheques and withdrawal slips, stolen card ATM withdrawals or credit card transactions not authorised by the cardholder. 
  • Advice you received or that was not provided to you about the deposit product, which may have been inappropriate or misleading.  
  • Charges that were incorrectly applied, or fees/costs that were calculated or applied incorrectly – or were not charged in accordance with the information that was provided to you.  
  • Disclosures that were incorrect, insufficient or misleading information about costs or fees, about how the account operated – or about the product the financial firm provided to you.  
  • Decisions relating to the financial firm's interpretation of the product terms and conditions. This includes denying a claim for a cardholder chargeback, a disputed merchant chargeback or a PayPal buyer/seller dispute. 
  • Instructions you gave that weren’t followed, that resulted in a delay such as in clearing a cheque, or failure to follow written instructions (for example, direct debit authority not followed, payee name on cheque ignored, internet banking instructions not followed). 
  • Privacy and confidentiality including where your financial firm won’t provide you access to personal information, and other privacy breaches including inappropriate collection or use (including disclosure) of personal information.  
  • Service including a delay in complaint handling; or where the financial firm has failed to meet a special need or requirement such as language assistance or other forms of accessible access. Service issues also apply to incorrect information being supplied or recorded about you and your accounts, where online access to your accounts is not working, and loss of documents or property.  
  • Detailed information about these issues is available on the Issues AFCA considers page.

Complaints AFCA can’t consider  

If you have a complaint about money you owe that isn’t related to a financial firm (for example, if your complaint is about a telephone, electricity, gas or water bill), AFCA generally can’t consider your complaint. 

There are other places you can ask for assistance to resolve your complaint.

We also can’t consider complaints about the level of a fee, premium, charge, rebate or interest rate – unless your complaint is about one of the issues outlined on this page (for example, if you are complaining about a fee that was not disclosed to you, or was misrepresented to you, or if the complaint is about a breach of a legal obligation on the part of the financial firm).  

We won’t consider complaints that we have already dealt with, unless there is sufficient additional information or different circumstances raised in the new complaint.  

In most cases, we also can’t consider a complaint that has already been dealt with by a court, dispute resolution tribunal established by legislation or a predecessor scheme.  

More information is available in our Rules (section C.1 Mandatory Exclusions). Even if a complaint is not excluded on a jurisdictional basis, we may decide not to consider the complaint any further if we consider it appropriate to do so. 

Monetary caps also apply.

Related information

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