The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has received more than 741 financial complaints from Tasmanians and awarded over $2.3 million in compensation in its first 10 months of operation.
Nationwide, AFCA has received more than 60,687 financial complaints and awarded more than $144.7 million in compensation.
AFCA’s Financial Fairness Roadshow has visited Tasmania with dozens of locals learning about its independent financial dispute services. As the one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses with complaints about financial firms, AFCA completed more than 25 financial fairness checks for Hobart locals at Eastlands Shopping Centre in mid September and is set to visit other areas across the state as we go to print.
Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer, David Locke said hearing from communities like Hobart first-hand is an invaluable exercise to raise awareness of AFCA’s services and gather insights that help improve processes and drive industry change.
“AFCA was created as a one-stop-shop for people to gain free, fair and independent help with any complaints they have with financial providers, but in reality, most Australians don’t know that we exist,” said Mr Locke.
“The roadshow sets out to change this and we’re striving to reach as many consumers and small businesses as we possibly can, because it’s important that all Australians feel confident in bringing their financial complaints forward.
“Every conversation had in Hobart contributed valuable insight that will ultimately help us drive change and ensure fairer outcomes for all Australians.”
Consumer credit insurance, financial difficulty and the service provided by financial advisors were of the most common concerns raised with AFCA, whose jurisdiction includes complaints against banks, credit and insurance organisations, investments, financial advice and superannuation providers.
AFCA considers complaints that previously would have been handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman or the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, and it’s an alternative to tribunals and courts.
- Consumers and small businesses can lodge a complaint with AFCA online at afca.org.au, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 1800 931 678.
- AFCA has a one-year window to consider complaints dating back to 2008. The special rules around ‘legacy complaints’ have been set by the Australian Government, and AFCA can accept legacy complaints until June 30 2020.