Data today released by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has shown that complaints about home loans increased by 20% in the last six months of 2019.
Between July and December last year, the financial services ombudsman received 2,201 complaints about home loans, averaging 367 per month.
However, the figure remains just 6% of the 36,562 total complaints received over the period.
AFCA chief operating officer Justin Untersteiner nonetheless called the results "disappointing".
There were 49 complaints specifically made in relation to mortgage brokers, with 19 involving NAB-owned BLSSA Pty Ltd, 16 concerning Mortgage Choice, 10 regarding Bestwell Mortgage, and four against Auscred Services, the licensed credit assistance provider of Lendi.
Mortgage aggregators garnered 38 complaints, divided among Loan Market (15), Australian Finance Group (10), Connective (8) and Finsure (5).
Mortgage managers accounted for 135 complaints, with the top four spots inhabited by Bluestone Mortgages (29), Mortgage House (21), Resimac (19) and Liberty Financial (13).
In releasing the data, AFCA hopes to contribute to rebuilding trust in the Australian financial services.
“Transparency is key in this transformation and we have made significant changes in the way we report our data and decisions to make them more accessible to the public,” said Untersteiner.
“There has been a dramatic increase in complaints about home loans. This increase has been driven by financial firms failing to respond to requests for assistance, the conversion of loans from interest only to principal and interest and issues with responsible lending.
“Our hope by releasing this data is that we see improvements and the industry takes action to reduce the number of complaints that end up at AFCA.”