Draft Australian Financial Complaints Authority (ACFA) legislation released

Treasury has released draft legislation to implement a Budget announcement of a ‘one-stop shop’ for financial disputes for consultation.

The Government announced in the 2017 Budget that it would replace the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) with a single body – the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (ACFA). This followed from the Ramsay Review into the financial system external dispute resolution and complaints framework.

“Superannuation complaints can be complex. They may involve third parties like employers, medical practitioners and beneficiaries to death benefits who are not members of AFCA,” says Treasury.

“The Government will ensure that AFCA has appropriate statutory powers to deal with the complexity of some superannuation disputes. This includes powers to join third parties to a dispute and to require the production of information and documents in relation to a superannuation dispute.”

“In retaining key statutory powers, the dispute resolution framework for superannuation will remain substantially unchanged.”

“While all new superannuation complaints will be made to the new EDR scheme from the date the new body is operational, the SCT will continue operations until 1 July 2020 to resolve the current backlog of complaints. Consumers will have the option to refer complaints previously made to the SCT to the new scheme once it is operational.” says Treasury in the consultation paper.

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 14 June 2017.

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