A new online tool launched today means Australians can see how their insurer, bank, financial adviser, superannuation fund or other financial firm has responded to consumer complaints brought to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
In a move designed to increase transparency and consumer education, AFCA has today released its comparative reporting tool, the Datacube. It includes information about the number of complaints received, how long it takes each member firm to resolve complaints and the number of times financial firms did not respond to a complaint. It also allows people to compare financial firms side-by-side.
AFCA Chief Executive Officer and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said:
“This tool – the AFCA Datacube - provides a much deeper level of detail about the issues and products that consumers and small businesses are complaining to us about,” Mr Locke said.
“Anyone can use this tool to review the performance of their financial firm and compare it to others in the market. This data, and the level of detail that consumers can see about each firm, will also support the work of policy makers and researchers. For financial firms themselves they can clearly see how they are tracking at handling complaints and how this compares to others in the market”
“All Ombudsman Schemes are required to publish data on the complaints that they handle and AFCA is no different. This tool though presents AFCA’s data in a way that is more accessible and easier to understand and interrogate. AFCA will be rolling out many data and feature enhancements over the coming months. We are committed to working with consumers, small business and industry to resolve and reduce financial disputes through innovative solutions, education and communication initiatives such as these.”
AFCA is required by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to publish information about the complaints it receives and resolves including by financial firm name, and to ensure it is comparable by business size and industry sector.
The Datacube contains AFCA’s data between 1 November 2019 and 30 June 2019 and will be updated every six months.
“We want to allow both consumers and our members access to the most recent data possible and are working to release the next update to this tool in January 2020,” Mr Locke said.
The release of the AFCA Datacube aligns with today’s release of AFCA’s Annual Review 2018–19, covering their operation between 1 November 2018 and 30 June 2019.
View the AFCA Datacube: data.afca.org.au
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- The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government organisation 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.
- In its first 12 months of operation, AFCA has received over 73,000 financial complaints and awarded more than $185 million in compensation.
- AFCA considers complaints that previously would have been handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman or the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, and it’s an alternative to tribunals and courts.
- Consumers and small businesses can lodge a complaint with AFCA online at afca.org.au, via email to email@example.com or by phoning 1800 931 678.
- AFCA has a one-year window to consider complaints dating back to 2008. The special rules around ‘legacy complaints’ have been set by the Australian Government, and AFCA can accept legacy complaints until June 30 2020.
- AFCA is an independent, not-for-profit body operating under Rules set by ASIC, and governed by a Board that has equal numbers of directors with consumer and industry backgrounds.