Updated: 22 May 2020

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is today launching improved online resources in languages other than English to make it easier for all communities to access financial dispute resolution. 

Released on the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the resources include a series of videos featuring AFCA’s own people speaking their first language. Almost a third of AFCA staff were born overseas. 

To improve accessibility, AFCA has also increased its translated resources from 14 languages to 20 (including English). 

Since launching in November 2018, AFCA has received around 700 requests for an interpreter, with AFCA providing this service free of charge in over 75 different languages. 

The five most frequently requested languages were: Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Spanish – all languages included in AFCA’s new resources. 

Chief Ombudsmen and CEO David Locke said the new resources were designed to help people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to understand how and when to make a complaint to AFCA. 

"AFCA is committed to providing a service that is accessible to everyone, including those who come from culturally diverse communities, or who might be vulnerable or disadvantaged,” Mr Locke said. 

“When it comes to resolving financial complaints people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities can face greater challenges – including exclusion, discrimination and lower English literacy rates. 

“Our new resources help to overcome this by making it easier for Australians who do not speak English to become aware of and use our services.” 

About the resources
In each language AFCA provides: 

  • information about AFCA’s service, the types of complaints AFCA considers and how to contact them using the interpreter service 
  • complaint and feedback forms 
  • four key brochures: how to lodge a complaint, a guide to financial difficulty, a guide to conciliation and information for small businesses
  • For more information and to watch the videos, visit: afca.org.au/language-videos

—ends—

Media enquiries: media@afca.org.au or 0466 929 659.

About AFCA

  • The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes.
  • AFCA 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.

About UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  • On 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, UNESCO encourages people around the world to join them in celebrating cultural diversity. 
  • The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an occasion to promote culture and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change.  
  • It represents an opportunity to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to creative industries, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.