27 August 2019

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has strongly welcomed ASIC’s new product intervention power in a submission published today.

AFCA Chief Ombudsman and CEO David Locke says AFCA believes the power will enhance ASIC’s ability to make proactive interventions that will result in fairer outcomes for consumers.

“AFCA strongly welcomes the addition of the product intervention power to ASIC’s regulatory toolkit,” Mr Locke said.

“We believe this new power will enhance ASIC’s ability to make proactive interventions in response to financial products that deliver poor consumer outcomes, irrespective of whether the financial firm has complied with legislative or regulatory requirements.”

AFCA’s submission also proposed the possibility of an increased role for AFCA in informing ASIC’s use of the product intervention power.

“There is potential for AFCA to act as a facilitator in informing ASIC of problem areas within the financial services industry through the intelligence we gather in our complaint handling processes, and systemic issues and serious contravention reporting functions,” Mr Locke said.

AFCA’s full submission to ASIC’s consultation on the proposed administration of its new product intervention power is available on the AFCA website.

AFCA also made a submission about the proposed exercise of the product intervention power in relation to short term credit, which has also been published on the AFCA website.

More information about the consultation is available on the ASIC website.

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