Financial Counselling Australia welcomes the establishment of a new financial complaints watchdog that will provide a one-stop shop for complaints from consumers and small businesses about banks and other financial institutions, including superannuation funds. Consumer advocates have long supported the creation of a single ombudsman-style scheme.
The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority replaces three existing schemes – the Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Investments Ombudsman and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. AFCA will adopt the principles of these schemes, including accessibility, independence and fairness. It is estimated that 50,000 new disputes are lodged each year.
Compensation caps that apply to specific disputes have been lifted, including for third party motor vehicle insurance claims. The cap has been increased to $15,000 from $5,000, which is a welcome move given the rising costs of car repair.
Legislation to set up AFCA passed the federal parliament yesterday. AFCA will begin accepting complaints by no later than November 1, 2018.
CEO Financial Counselling Australia
0402 426 835