25 February 2019
Following the Royal Commission’s Final Report, the Government announced that AFCA is to consider complaints dating back to 1 January 2008, if the complaint otherwise falls within AFCA’s current thresholds.
The Government has announced that AFCA will consider eligible complaints between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. AFCA will run a limited consultation regarding required changes to its Rules, which will need to be approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
We have provided advice on our website to let consumers and small business owners who have legacy disputes dating back to 1 January 2008 know that we will shortly be issuing guidance about what this means for them; including how and when they can lodge a complaint with us.
Complaints that meet the extended timeframe
You may now be receiving enquiries from customers about complaints dating back to 1 January 2008. We encourage you to resolve these matters through internal dispute resolution process (IDR) processes. If a complaint is lodged with us, it is likely we will refer the complaint back to the financial firm.
If you receive enquiries from consumers or small businesses about disputes dating back to 1 January 2008, we encourage you to review the issue and attempt to resolve the matter through your firm’s IDR. If a complaint is lodged with us and we find that the matter has not undergone your firm’s IDR process, it is likely the complaint will be referred back to your firm. We may ask firms for consent to consider matters that are currently lodged which meet the extended timeframe criteria, ahead of the formal Rules change to allow us to accept complaints dating from 1 January 2008.
Additionally, if you have previously been referred a complaint which falls within the extended timeframe and have raised a case action to dispute the jurisdiction, we suggest that you may consider rethinking your previous objection. Similarly, where part of a dispute may fall into this extended timeframe, we suggest you consider rethinking an objection.
We will ask for your consent before 1 July 2019
We may ask our members for consent to consider current complaints which meet the extended timeframe criteria (ahead of 1 July 2019). If you have previously been referred a complaint which falls within the extended timeframe and have requested a jurisdictional review, we also ask you to reconsider the request. Similarly, where part of a complaint may fall into this extended timeframe, we also suggest you reconsider the objection.
A new action “Provide consent to AFCA to consider complaint” has been added to Secure Services, making this process available immediately.
Please contact our membership team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 56 55 62 if you have any questions.