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Complaint period stretches back to 2008

The first of next month will mark the beginning of the expansion of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s (AFCA) remit to investigate complaints going back to 1 January 2008.

In an official statement, AFCA said it has a 12-month window to receive these complaints, which must not have been dealt with by the body previously.

This week, AFCA Chief Ombudsman and CEO David Locke said the window forms an opportunity to have issues ‘independently reviewed’.

“We have identified thousands of complaints that could potentially be made to AFCA, based on those that were lodged but deemed outside the jurisdiction of previous schemes,” Mr Locke said.

“However, there will also be many matters that were never lodged with the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman or the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal that may now be brought to us.”

In a statement from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), they indicated the parameters for the legacy complaints, which:

  • must relate to a compulsory member of the AFCA scheme who is a member of the AFCA scheme at the time the complaint is made;

  • must not be an excluded complaint; and

  • must be made during the lodgement period,1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

“It is our expectation that firms will proactively resolve these legacy matters themselves where possible, as part of their commitment to justly remediate the misconduct of the past and meet the community’s expectations of fairness,” Locke said.

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