Australia to set up new complaints watchdog in wake of scandals

Australia is setting up a Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA will be operational from 1 November this year, with a remit to “provide free, fast and binding dispute resolution to consumers and small businesses.”

AFCA the country’s official body for financial complaints, received its formal approval in parliament yesterday. the minister for revenue and financial services, Kelly O’Dwyer, announced the authorisation of Australian Financial Complaints Limited to operate AFCA.

Consumers will be able to lodge complaints with the existing industry ombudsman schemes – the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) – and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) until AFCA is up and running.

All Australian-registered financial services firms will be required to become members of AFCA by law and to finalize their applications by the 21 September deadline. AFCA will outline the process for applying for membership in the coming months.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Publisher and Editor of International Investment. His previous publishing experience focused largely on the Middle East and emerging markets, and he was Editorial Director of The Business Year, based in Istanbul, for three years before moving back to London in 2017. He is the author of How to Negotiate, to be published by Macmillan in 2019.

Read more from Christopher Copper-Ind

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