How AFCA assists consumers
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) can assist you to resolve your complaint about an Australian financial firm.
We are an independent and impartial ombudsman, which means we don’t act on your behalf, or on behalf of the financial services industry.
Instead, we follow a clear complaint resolution process, working with both you and your financial firm. During this process we take into account all the information available as well as the AFCA Rules, which govern what we can consider and what we can do.
Our Operational Guidelines and Approach guides will help you understand in more detail how we will consider and determine your complaint.
We can provide a number of outcomes, including awarding monetary compensation.
Our service is free to access. If you need more support, there are third party agencies you can talk to.
Are you experiencing financial difficulty?
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, we encourage you to contact us.
Examples of financial difficulty include where your financial firm has declined or not responded to your request to vary your repayments due to hardship, you have been issued a default notice, or your financial firm is continuing legal or debt collection action against you after you have made a financial difficulty request to them.
More information about our approach to financial difficulty is available.
We are committed to providing an accessible service to all Australians. If you require other assistance, including phone relay services or translation services, please contact us.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We can accept a complaint from you on behalf of someone else, which we call being an authorised agent. You will need to notify us if you want to be an authorised representative.
The process we follow
In most cases, our complaint resolution process follows these steps:
- When you lodge a complaint with us we will refer it to the financial firm. We will ask the financial firm to review the complaint and try to resolve it directly with you before we consider it. The financial firm will have a set timeframe it needs to follow. If your complaint is not resolved by the financial firm within this timeframe it will progress to be further considered by us.
- If the financial firm doesn’t resolve your complaint directly, we will then work with all parties to try and achieve a settlement using information methods, such as negotiation and conciliation.
- If this doesn’t work, we may make a decision about the complaint. This may include providing you and the financial firm with our preliminary assessment on the merits of your complaint before we make a decision (called a determination).
Outcomes and caps
There are only certain outcomes we can provide. These include compensation for financial and non-financial loss, as well as indirect loss. Monetary caps also apply to any outcomes we can provide.
Who and what you can complain about
It is compulsory for all licenced financial services providers in Australia to be an AFCA member and to participate in the AFCA process. You can check if your financial firm is an AFCA member using our online search tool.
We provide specific information about each type of financial firm and what sort of complaints we can handle, including:
Not sure if we can consider your complaint?
If you’re not sure if you have a complaint that we can consider, we recommend you submit your information to us anyway so we can review it and discuss it with you.
If you lodge a complaint with us and we can’t resolve it for you because it doesn’t meet the requirements of our Rules, there are other places you can go for help.
Making a complaint about a financial firm
You can complain to AFCA using our online form. You can use our Live Chat to ask questions or get help to fill in the form.
Other ways to complain
If you prefer you can also download, print and fill in a PDF of the complaint form. We also accept complaints via email to email@example.com or telephone on 1800 931 678