Consultation closed

Consultation on AFCA’s Approaches to Responsible Lending and Lending to Small Business (formerly Appropriate Lending to Small Business) have now closed. The consultation periods were: 

  • AFCA’s Responsible Lending Approach – 31 July to 11 September 2023 
  • AFCA’s Lending to Small Business Approach – 18 August to 29 September 2023 

AFCA would like to thank stakeholders for a constructive and cooperative consultation process. Formal submissions have now been published. AFCA has also now published the final Responsible Lending and Lending to Small Business Approach documents and separate consultation feedback reports outlining how we responded to formal submissions and stakeholder feedback.

Quick links

What was this consultation about?

AFCA recently consulted on two draft approaches for key complaint areas in Banking and Finance and Small Business: AFCA’s Responsible Lending Approach, and AFCA’s Lending to Small Business Approach.

AFCA invited all stakeholders to provide feedback or make a submission during the consultation periods. The consultations were designed with the needs of our stakeholders in mind, so our approach was flexible and accessible. There were many ways to provide comment, including through a public webinar, meetings, email or written submissions.

What is an AFCA approach document?

AFCA’s approach documents help complainants and financial firms better understand how AFCA might approach some common issues and complaint types, and how we reach decisions. We publish our approach documents on our website.

Why has AFCA created these approaches?

AFCA has listened to stakeholder feedback and as a result, we are documenting how we manage complaints in these two key areas. The two approaches have been developed to:

  • provide greater clarity around what to expect from AFCA processes
  • provide transparency about the way we investigate complaints and make decisions
  • ensure we continue delivering consistent outcomes for complaints
  • assist in efficiently and effectively avoiding and resolving disputes
  • outline how AFCA applies legal principles, industry codes and regulatory guidance, and
  • support both complainants and industry to better understand how we consider these complaints.

What are Responsible Lending complaints?

Responsible Lending complaints are about situations where a consumer took out a loan or credit for personal, domestic or household purposes. This includes personal loans, credit cards and home loans. For more information, read the Responsible Lending Approach document and consultation feedback report that outlines how we responded to formal submissions and stakeholder feedback.

What are Small Business Lending complaints?

Small Business Lending complaints are complaints made to AFCA by an eligible small business about credit provided to them for business or investment purposes (other than investment in a residential property by an individual). This includes business loans, overdrafts, lines of credit, leases and other loans. In certain circumstances these complaints can also be brought by guarantors. For more information, read the Lending to Small Business Approach document.

What if I have accessibility needs?

AFCA is committed to providing a service that is accessible to everyone, including giving you the information you need, in a format that works for you. In line with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), AFCA is also committed to ensuring that our information and services are provided in a non-discriminatory way. If you have accessibility needs, please email us at, or call us on 1800 931 678 to tell us about any additional assistance you might need. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the types of assistance we can provide or facilitate, to help you interact with us.

Are submissions anonymous?

Your submission will be published on AFCA's website. Please note, we will not treat your submission as confidential unless you specify that a part or all of it is confidential.

You may choose to remain anonymous when making a written submission. However, if you decide to remain anonymous, we will not be able to contact you to discuss your submission should we need to.

Please refer to our privacy policy for more on how we handle personal information.

More information and further questions

If you have further questions about the approaches or consultation, or need more information, please email

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