Government seeks industry feedback on AFCA

The government will proceed with a review of AFCA as per the original legislation that set up the ombudsman, and is seeking feedback from financial firms as to whether it is resolving complaints in a fair way.

In a statement released late on Friday, the Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Jane Hume said the government was “committed to ensuring AFCA is operating effectively and achieving its objectives”.

Ms Hume said legislation to establish AFCA in 2018 had included the requirement for a review of its effectiveness.

“The review will be independent of AFCA and conducted by Treasury, with a report to be finalised by 30 June 2021,” she said.

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“Targeted questions have been included as part of the terms of reference, and Treasury is commencing the review by seeking submissions from interested parties.”

Terms of reference included on the Treasury website focus on whether AFCA is “meeting its statutory objective of resolving complaints in a way that is fair, efficient, timely and independent”.

Questions for those making a submission include whether AFCA’s dispute resolution approach and capability are producing consistent, predictable and quality outcomes, whether the ombudsman’s processes for identifying systemic issues are effective, and whether the funding of the body impacts industry competition.

Commenting on the announcement of the review, AFCA chief executive David Locke said the ombudsman’s work had represented “significant reform of financial services complaints resolution”, but that more could be done to improve processes.

“We are proud of all that AFCA has achieved in the space of two years,” Mr Locke said.

“AFCA welcomes the opportunity to make a submission and put forward our views of how external dispute resolution for the financial services industry can be further improved.”

Treasury is accepting submissions for the consultation until 26 March.

Government seeks industry feedback on AFCA
Government seeks industry feedback on AFCA
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