Updated: 14 March 2024

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has published a “lead decision” that will assist decision making in the more than 1,900 Dixon Advisory and Superannuation Services (Dixon) complaints it has received to date.

A lead decision considers core issues and principles that can be applied to a batch of similar cases. The lead decision does not mean every case will have the same outcome, however, because every case will still be determined on its individual merits. 

The Dixon lead decision will help guide decision making and assist efficient progress of the remaining cases involving Dixon, Lead Ombudsman, Investments and Advice, Shail Singh said. Dixon, which is under administration, had its Australian Financial Services licence cancelled last year.

The lead decision was prepared by Mr Singh and a panel of experienced industry and consumer representatives.

Its publication follows AFCA’s finalising of an Approach to determining compensation in complaints against financial advice firms, which provided clarity sought by industry before Dixon decisions progressed.

“While work is well under way, it will take time to get through the large number of Dixon complaints, and we thank people for their patience,” Mr Singh said.

“The lead decision is an important milestone, and will aid efficiency, but we are obliged to consider the evidence provided in each case so we can make a decision about the merits of the individual complaint and, if the decision is in favour of the complainant, what any financial resolution should be. These are complex matters that require careful consideration.

“At the same time, we will continue to look for efficiencies so we can move through this unprecedented batch of complaints as quickly as possible.”

The Dixon collapse has generated the largest batch of common complaints against a single member firm that AFCA has experienced in its five years of operation.

Before Dixon, AFCA had generally issued about 200 determinations a year in its investments and advice jurisdiction.

AFCA has doubled the size of its investments and advice decision-making team and increased its case management workforce, among other steps in response to the flow of Dixon complaints.

To also aid efficiency, AFCA is urging complainants to gather relevant information – as outlined on AFCA’s Dixon Advisory Current Matter page – in preparedness for contact from AFCA.

You can read the lead decision here.


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About AFCA
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.

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