The Turnbull government has appointed former politician Helen Coonan chair of the recently created Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
Coonan had served as a senator for NSW and as minister for revenue and assistant treasurer in the Howard administration.
She has also held positions on the boards of public and private organisations, including as non-executive director at gaming company Crown Limited and Place Management NSW.
Approved by parliament on 14 February, AFCA provides a single scheme in resolving disputes with banks, insurers, super funds and small amount credit providers. It will merge the three existing complaints bodies: the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman, and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
AFCA will start receiving disputes no later than 1 November.
“Ms Coonan has experience in the law, business, financial services and dispute resolution. She is a distinguished former Cabinet Minister in the Howard Government, and as the then Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, she demonstrated deep knowledge and understanding of the financial services sector and the issues faced by consumers of financial products and services,” said acting treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer in a statement.
O'Dwyer said she will make other appointments to the AFCA board, including consumer and industry specialists.