The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) considers a wide range of complaints from consumers and small businesses about financial firms.

To make a complaint to us:

  1. You must be eligible to complain.
  2. The complaint needs to be about a financial firm that is an AFCA member.
  3. The complaint must meet our threshold requirements (such as being lodged within time) and be within our monetary jurisdiction.
  4. Your complaint cannot be excluded by our Rules.

 

Am I eligible?

Our complaint resolution service is available to the following:

  • Consumers, who we define as being an individual.
  • Small businesses of less than 100 employees whether a primary production business or otherwise, which includes:
    • a sole trader
    • a partnership
    • an incorporated business.

 

We can also consider a complaint from:

  • a registered charity, regardless of the number of employees
  • a club that carries on a business and has less than 100 employees).
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Who are AFCA members?

Some of the organisations that are required by legislation to be AFCA members are:

  • banks and other credit providers
  • financial planning firms
  • general insurers
  • insurance broking firms
  • life insurers
  • superannuation fund trustees,
  • retirement savings account (RSA) providers
  • stock broking firms
  • fund management companies.

We refer to these organisations as 'financial firms'.

Any financial firm that holds an Australian Financial Services Licence or Credit Licence, or is an Authorised Credit Representative, is required to be an AFCA member.

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What types of complaints can’t we consider?

In summary we can’t consider the following complaints:

  • We cannot generally consider a complaint about the level of a fee, premium, charge, rebate or interest rate where you’re simply unhappy that a cost has increased.

However, there are complaints about fees, premiums, charges, rebates or interest rates that we can consider, including where someone believes that a fee or other charge has not been disclosed, has been misrepresented or has not been calculated correctly.

  • We cannot generally consider a complaint about a service or product that is not financial in nature.
  • We cannot generally consider a complaint about a decision by a financial firm about how to allocate the benefit of a financial service between potential beneficiaries.
  • We cannot generally consider a complaint that raises the same events and facts and is brought by the same person as a complaint previously dealt with by AFCA.
  • We cannot generally consider a complaint that has already been dealt with by a court, legislative dispute resolution tribunal or a predecessor scheme. There are, however, some exceptions to this. If you are not sure, you should contact us or lodge your complaint so we can check whether we can consider it.
  • We cannot consider a small business credit facility of more than $5 million.
  • We cannot consider a complaint solely about the investment performance of a financial investment.

Our Rules and Operational Guidelines provide more detailed information about these exclusions (and others) in section C.

When will AFCA decide it is not appropriate to continue to consider a complaint?

In some circumstances we may decide to not consider a complaint any further. For example, we may consider the complaint is more appropriately dealt with in court.

We will not exercise our discretion to exclude a complaint lightly. It will only be used in cases where there are compelling reasons for deciding that we should not consider or further consider a complaint.

We may also refuse to consider a complaint any further, after considering the background and nature of the complaint and any supporting information, and we decide that:

  • the complaint does not have merit
  • the person making the complaint hasn’t suffered any loss
  • the person making the complaint has been adequately compensated
  • the financial firm has committed no error
  • the superannuation provider could not have made any other decision.