15 May 2019

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has welcomed ASIC’s announcement of a raft of measures to strengthen the complaints handling process within financial firms.

ASIC has today announced its intention to require financial companies to supply standardised data on their internal process for handling customer complaints. ASIC has signaled its intention to publish this information, naming the firms and their performance.

AFCA Chief Ombudsman and CEO David Locke welcomed the proposed changes, “Increased transparency is good news” he said.

“It will help firms to continuously improve, and that will be good for the firms and their customers alike.

“We also welcome the idea of requiring firms to provide a standard set of data – this will help companies know how they compare to their competitors and help to inform consumers about the companies they’re dealing with.

“In this digital age, the move by ASIC to require firms to include complaints made on social media platforms, is entirely appropriate” he said.

Noting that ASIC is consulting with industry about the proposed changes, Mr Locke observed the timeliness of the process and the proposed regulatory changes.

“ASIC’s aim to match dispute resolution data with AFCA data will provide a robust and accountable way to make sure the system is fully transparent.”