On 1st November 2018, The Australian Financial Complaints Authority opened its doors as Australia's single external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme for the financial services sector. Their purpose is to provide fair, independent and effective solutions for financial disputes facilitated by professional and experienced staff.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia has published their 2017-18 Annual Review and Snapshot. Both are available on the FOS website.
The Annual Review outlines the activities and achievements in 2017-18 and includes extensive dispute data and analysis.
FOS received 43,684 disputes in 2017-18. This was an 11% increase from last year, following a 16% increase from 2015-16.
The increase in 2017-18 was driven by growing dispute numbers in all categories, especially later in the year. The unprecedented dispute numbers may be explained by increased awareness of FOS due to community outreach activities over several years, attention on the sector brought about by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and public debate about the future of external dispute resolution.
The average time to close disputes was 54 days (the same as last year). Almost half (48%) the disputes lodged were closed within 30 days (up 4 percentage points from last year) and 80% of disputes within 60 days (78% last year).
Smooth transition to new dispute scheme
This Annual Review is the last one for FOS.From 1 November 2018, a single financial services dispute resolution scheme, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), will begin receiving disputes. AFCA replaces FOS, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
In 2017-18, a comprehensive work program was initiated to help ensure a smooth transition to AFCA and establish a joint working group with the SCT to examine the best ways for superannuation disputes to be managed under the new scheme.
If you would like a hard copy of either the Annual Review or the accompanying Snapshot please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Release of 2017-18 Comparative Tables
The 2017-18 FOS Comparative Tables have been posted on their website.
The tables provide dispute statistics about financial services providers (FSPs) who are members of FOS.
The tables cover 20 product groups and can be used by consumers and FSPs to compare dispute data for particular FSPs and financial products.