Former politician appointed AFCA chair

Former Howard government minister Helen Coonan has been named chair of the newly-established Australian Financial Complaints Authority. 

After stepping away from politics in 2011, Ms Coonan took up corporate positions and has served on numerous boards, and started her own consultancy in 2013, with Samsung, Quantium and Allegis Partners among her clients.

She is currently chair of Supervised Investments Australia, Place Management NSW (formerly Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority), co-chair of GRACosway (formerly Government Relations Australia Advisory), as well as director, non-executive director and members of various other company boards.

Commenting on the appointment, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said, “Helen Coonan will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to her position as AFCA chair.


“Ms Coonan has experience in the law, business, financial services and dispute resolution.”

During her time in Parliament, she “demonstrated deep knowledge and understanding of the financial services sector and the issues faced by consumers of financial products and services”, Ms O’Dwyer said.

Ms O’Dwyer will seek to have AFCA authorised by 15 March and said she intends to make more board appointments following authorisation.

“AFCA will start receiving disputes no later than 1 November 2018,” the statement said.

Former politician appointed AFCA chair
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