The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has now received more than 700 complaints about four Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (ACBF) companies, also known as the Youpla group, since AFCA began operating in 2018.
Before the firms were recently placed in liquidation, AFCA had issued 178 decisions against the companies, all in favour of the complainants due to misleading or deceptive conduct.
More than $1.4 million was awarded in compensation to ACBF customers, although AFCA understands 61 determinations remain unpaid – which is close to $500,000 in compensation outstanding to policyholders.
Due to the firms being placed into liquidation, AFCA has had to pause work on complaints against ACBF. However it is supporting affected consumers to continue to register their complaints in case of further developments.
“AFCA recognises and understands that many ACBF customers are in a difficult situation. They have suffered considerable financial loss as a result of the actions of these financial firms, and now find that the firms’ insolvency means there is little likelihood of any compensation awarded being paid to them,” Deputy Chief Ombudsman Dr June Smith said.
“However, ACBF customers should lodge their complaints with AFCA as soon as possible, so that their dispute is registered in our system should anything change.”
Read our earlier media release, with more detail, here.
Published: 22 April 2022
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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.