Australia to set up new complaints watchdog in wake of scandals

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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.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.