New Financial Complaints Authority – making complaining easier
Active as of November 1, 2018 the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is the new independent ombudsman to resolve complaints regarding financial products and services.
The AFCA is a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses as an alternative to tribunals and courts to resolve complaints about financial firms.
This means they don’t act on your behalf, or on behalf of the financial services industry. They instead follow a clear complaint resolution process, working with both you and your financial firm.
The resolution process
In most cases, the complaint resolution process follows these steps:
- When you lodge a complaint with the AFCA it will be referred to the financial firm to review and try to resolve it directly with you within a set timeframe. If your complaint is not resolved by the financial firm within this timeframe it will progress to be further considered by the AFCA.
- If the financial firm doesn’t resolve your complaint directly, the AFCA will then work with all parties to try and achieve a settlement, using negotiation and conciliation methods.
- If this doesn’t work, the AFCA may make a decision about the complaint including providing you and the financial firm with a preliminary assessment on the merits of your complaint before making a decision (also called a determination).
The AFCA can provide several outcomes, including awarding monetary compensation.
Are you experiencing financial difficulty?
If your financial firm has declined or not responded to your request to vary your repayments due to financial hardship, or you’ve been issued with 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… contact the AFCA.
If you have any unresolved financial dispute, then contact the AFCA on free call 1800 931 678.
Still unsure about the nature of your complaint?
Submit your information to the AFCA anyway so it can be reviewed. If you lodge a complaint with the AFCA and they can’t resolve it for you because it doesn’t meet the requirements of its Rules, there are other places you can go for help