The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is consulting on proposed amendments to its Approach to claims for non-financial loss.
AFCA can award non-financial loss compensation to a complainant (except in superannuation complaints). The maximum AFCA can currently award is $5,400 per claim.
The proposed amendments address feedback from AFCA members and other stakeholders that the Approach document needs more information about how AFCA assesses these claims.
AFCA’s current Approach to claims for non-financial includes case studies, analysis and examples of compensation that was awarded in particular circumstances.
The current Approach, however, does not include an objective scale to help parties understand how AFCA might determine the appropriate amount of non-financial loss to be awarded.
To clarify this and improve transparency, AFCA is proposing to add a matrix as a guide on what might be an appropriate range for an award of compensation for non-financial loss.
The matrix explains how much compensation AFCA might choose to award based on the impact of the firm’s conduct on the complainant, and duration of that impact.
The proposed changes also include updated case studies and clarify AFCA’s jurisdiction.
About the consultation
The consultation is taking place from 3 April to 1 May 2023.
Although the proposed changes to the Approach are not substantial, AFCA wishes to consult with external stakeholders to ensure there are no unintended consequences as a result of the changes.
AFCA’s consultation process has been designed to be flexible and accessible. This means, stakeholders can provide feedback, comments and questions in meetings with AFCA people, in writing (via email and via post), or via a formal submission.
About AFCA Approach documents
AFCA’s Approach documents help consumers and financial firms better understand how we reach decisions about key issues. These documents explain the way AFCA might approach some common issues and complaint types.
Find all of AFCA’s Approach documents here.
Published: 31 March 2023
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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.