The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has welcomed the announcement of new banking initiatives that seek to address the scourge of scams.
“We see every day, in our work with consumers and banks, the devastating impact scams can have on people,” AFCA’s Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive, David Locke, said.
“We welcome any initiatives by banks to seek to protect their customers, including the innovative use of technology.”
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia today announced it is introducing “NameCheck” technology for money transfers along with caller verification via the CommBank app.
AFCA is an ombudsman service that works with consumers and financial firms when they find themselves in dispute.
In 2021-22, AFCA received 4,131 complaints in relation to scams, an average of around 340 a month. That was up 28 per cent on the previous year.
In the current financial year, this has increased to an average of 400 scam-related complaints a month.
“It’s not just the volume of complaints involving scams that is increasing, but also the sums involved,” Mr Locke noted. “People are losing home deposits and retirement savings. We know that vulnerable people can be just as devastated by the loss of money they’d set aside for bills.
“This mustn’t continue, and we encourage all banks to consider what further steps they can take.”
Mr Locke said AFCA would continue to engage with industry, consumer groups and regulators, sharing its complaints data and insights, in the joint effort to reduce scam transactions.
Published: 2 February 2023
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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.