Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) starts accepting consumer complaints

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is up and running, ready to accept consumer complaints as of 1 November 2018.

AFCA replaces the previous complaints bodies: Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).

“If any consumers or small businesses have an unresolved complaint about a financial product or service they can contact AFCA for free. AFCA will then independently investigate the complaint,” said AFCA. Read more...

ASIC issues stern warning for firms and trustees to join AFCA “now”

ASIC has issued a stern warning to financial services companies and some super fund trustees that they “must” join the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) by tomorrow.

AFCA replaces the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).

ASIC warned superannuation trustees (SMSFs aren’t required to become members of AFCA), Australian financial services licensees, Australian credit licensees and authorised credit representatives that they are required to join AFCA by 21 September 2018. Read more...

Super funds shouldn’t have to cross subsidise complaints under AFCA

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has warned that funding for the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) must avoid cross subsidisation.

AIST said it was “essential that AFCA is appropriately funded to ensure it can provide an effective and efficient dispute resolution service to consumers and scheme members”.

AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said there was a moral and legal obligation on super funds to ensure their members’ savings weren’t funding the resolution of complaints from other sectors of the financial services industry. Read more...

ASIC grants additional time to update disclosure documents for AFCA

Super funds have been granted additional time to update disclosure documents with details of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

AFCA will start dealing with complaints from 1 November 2018. The new external dispute resolution body replaces the SCT, CIO and FOS.

ASIC has announced that it has granted super funds and financial firms disclosure relief during the transition to AFCA. The transitional relief applies until 1 July 2019, which ASIC says will allow them time to update mandatory disclosure documents and periodic statements. Read more...

AFCA to start accepting complaints from 1 November 2018

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is set to start accepting complaints from 1 November 2018.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer has authorised Australian Financial Complaints Limited to operate the AFCA. This is the latest step in starting the AFCA – which replaces three existing financial dispute bodies – following from the passage of legislation in February and the appointment of a Chair in March.

Minister O’Dwyer said the new ‘one-stop shop’ for financial complaints would give consumers and small business “access to free, fast and binding dispute resolution”. Read more...

ASIC consults on oversight of AFCA, update to RG 139

ASIC has started a consultation process on its oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

The AFCA is the new external dispute resolution body for financial services, replacing the SCT, CIO and FOS.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has announced that AFCA will start operations no later than 1 November 2018.

ASIC said that there were a number of transitional steps that need to occur before AFCA commences, including the Minister authorising AFCA and the AFCA Board consulting on the scheme’s terms of reference. Read more...

Government names Helen Coonan as inaugural Chair of AFCA

The Federal Government has announced Helen Coonan, a former Liberal party minister, as the first Chair of AFCA.

“The Turnbull Government is focused on ensuring that the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) provides consumers and small businesses with access to a free, fast and binding dispute resolution service for financial complaints,” said the announcement.

“It is important that the inaugural Chair of the AFCA Board has experience across the financial services industry, and in dispute resolution as well as previous board experience.” Read more...

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to start 1 July 2018

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is set to start on 1 July 2018, after the Bill creating the new external dispute resolution body passed the Parliament.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday. As the Bill was introduced to the Senate first and passed there it now awaits Royal Assent.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is a new external dispute resolution body for the financial services industry. It replaces the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO). Read more...

AFCA Bill stalled in House until at least February 2018

The Bill to create the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is stalled in the House of Representatives until at least February next year.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 passed the Senate in the last sitting week of the year. But the Bill had been introduced to the Senate first, and had been amended, and so needed to go to the House to be voted on. But this didn’t happen before the end of the 2017 sittings, with it being made an order of the day for the next sitting. Parliament is next scheduled to sit on 5 February 2015. It is unclear if and how this timetable will impact the planned commencement date of 1 July 2018. Read more...

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) Bill passes Senate, with amendments

The Bill to create the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has passed the Senate, with amendments

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority replaces three existing financial services dispute resolution bodies – the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The amended Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 passed the Senate on Wednesday evening. The Bill was introduced to the Senate first and so will need to go to the House next. Read more...