Updated: 13 June 2024

The AFCA Board is pleased to announce that Professor John Pollaers OAM has been reappointed as the Independent Chair of the Board of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority for a second term of three years.

“John’s strategic leadership and his commitment to strong governance has shone through over the past three years and we are delighted he will stay on as Chair and continue to drive AFCA’s vision,” the AFCA Board said in a statement.

During Prof Pollaers’ first term, the Board has overseen the maturing of AFCA into a world-class ombudsman service, recognised as one of Australia’s best places to work. 

Under Professor Pollaers’ stewardship, the Board has also experienced transformation, with the appointment of new board members with the calibre and commitment to lead AFCA through its strategy over the next three years and beyond, providing AFCA with the strategic leadership required, and enhancing engagement with key industry and consumer stakeholders.

In the past three years, AFCA has successfully implemented a wide range of initiatives in response to a positive Treasury-led Independent Review in 2021. It has stepped up to manage an unprecedented number of complaints – topping 100,000 in 2023, almost double the number its three predecessor schemes handled in their final year. AFCA has also rolled out a program of technological transformation, including soon, the implementation of a leading complaints management system that is drawing interest from other ombudsman schemes.

Prof Pollaers said he was excited to continue as Chair of an organisation delivering fair, independent and impartial dispute resolution in financial services. 

“I look forward to building on the incredible foundation created during the past three years to ensure AFCA delivers on its core services to the Australian community, our members and stakeholders, in particular improving our accessibility to vulnerable consumers,” he said.

“AFCA performs a critical function, working with financial firms, consumers and small businesses to resolve financial complaints, and to help firms minimise disputes. Ultimately, this supports confidence in the financial services sector.

“I look forward to continue working alongside a very committed Board, with a truly diverse set of skills and experience, as well as our highly regarded Chief Ombudsman and CEO, David Locke.”

Initially appointed in May 2021, Prof Pollaers’ second term will continue until 13 May 2027.

During Prof Pollaers’ first three years as Independent Chair, AFCA received more than 270,000 complaints, with over $775 million being paid in compensation to individual consumers and small business owners after complaints were resolved either by agreement between the parties or through formal decisions.


Published: 5 June 2024

Media enquiries: media@afca.org.au

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