Updated: 4 July 2024

AFCA has published new versions of its Rules and Operational Guidelines, which apply to all complaints lodged on or after 1 July 2024.

The Rules provide complete transparency into how AFCA operates and are approved by ASIC, in accordance with the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). How they are implemented and apply are explained in more detail in our Operational Guidelines.

ASIC formally approved material changes to the AFCA scheme in January 2024 following the consultation on changes to AFCA’s Rules and Operational Guidelines in 2023. In March 2024 AFCA published its Consultation Response outlining how it responded to formal submissions and stakeholder feedback. All non-confidential submissions were published in 2023.

This was the most significant review of AFCA’s Rules and Operational Guidelines since AFCA was established. The proposed changes to the Rules and Operational Guidelines were designed to implement the Review’s recommendations and ensure AFCA continues to provide efficient, timely operations so we can deliver fair, independent and effective solutions for financial disputes.

The new version of AFCA’s Rules and Operational Guidelines include changes that:

  • Increase AFCA’s ability to manage unreasonable or inappropriate conduct within the scheme from complainants and paid representatives
  • Deal with complaints where an appropriate settlement has been made or where issues in dispute have been previously settled
  • Provide further guidance and clarity on the exclusion of complaints lodged by professionals or sophisticated investors unless exceptions apply
  • Enhance the visibility, accessibility and performance of the Forward-Looking Review Mechanism
  • Ensure greater transparency and understanding of AFCA’s decision making, including how the slip rule works and clarification of effects of AFCA determination
  • Make minor changes to definitions and language to update certain areas of the Rules arising from legislative change, which will give greater clarity and transparency of the scheme’s operation overall, and
  • Make minor changes to clarify reporting and transparency obligations.

These changes were developed in response to recommendations made in Treasury's Independent Review of AFCA – with some additional changes to help ensure the Rules and Operational Guidelines remain accurate, up-to-date and provide clearer guidance about AFCA’s jurisdiction and processes.

You can read more about the changes on AFCA’s website.

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