The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) warmly welcomes the Government’s announcement to extend AFCA’s remit to review eligible financial complaints dating back to 1 January 2008.
Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer, David Locke said AFCA will work with all stakeholders to implement these changes fairly and effectively.
“We believe that this will provide access to justice and redress to many thousands of Australian consumers,” Mr Locke said.
“AFCA’s remit will be expanded for a period of 12 months to accept eligible complaints regarding conduct dating back to 1 January 2008.
“In most cases, we are currently only able to consider matters that have occurred within the last six years. When a complaint has been through a financial firms’ internal dispute resolution process, this timeframe is reduced to two years.
“This change means that many more people will be able to get access to justice and have their matters properly considered.”
AFCA will consider eligible complaints between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, following the AFCA Rules being updated.
AFCA will run a limited consultation regarding required changes to its Rules, which will need to be approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
“We will be issuing guidance prior to 1 July 2019 to explain how people can raise their matters with us,” Mr Locke said.
- The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government organisation that is approved by the Federal Government to administer a free, fair and independent dispute resolution scheme.
- AFCA consider complaints about financial products and services.
- AFCA’s service is offered as an alternative to tribunals and courts to resolve complaints consumers and small businesses have with their financial firms.
- AFCA was established following the 2016 Ramsay Review into how Australia’s external dispute resolution framework could be improved to deliver effective outcomes for all Australian consumers and small business.
- On 1 November 2018, AFCA replaced the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal as the one-stop-shop for financial dispute resolution.
- Consumers and small businesses can lodge a complaint with AFCA online at afca.org.au, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 1800 931 678.
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