The government has announced the creation of a transition team which will take the next step towards a one stop shop for external dispute resolution within the finance industry.
In a speech to the Financial Services Council Leaders’ Summit 2017 in Sydney yesterday (26 July), Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer discussed the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
The AFCA is a combined body recommended by the Ramsey Review and the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (SBFEO) and will replace the current Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Investments Ombudsman, and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
“It will provide access to justice in a timely manner, with an independent arbiter and compensation where appropriate,” O‘Dwyer said.
The transition team will be led by former RBA
assistant governor Malcolm Edey who will ensure that AFCA is operation by 1 July next year.
“Dr Edey is widely respected both internationally and domestically for his extensive knowledge in a broad range of economic fields. Dr Edey has been a member of the RBA’s senior policy committees and was Deputy Chairman of the Payments System Board.”
The single body will help eliminate confusion and uncertainty amongst consumers, she said, and ensure a smoother resolution for complaints with multiple issues.
“AFCA will also be able to hear disputes of a significantly higher value, which provides greater access, so more consumers and small businesses can have their case heard, and receive fair compensation if they have wrongfully suffered a loss.”
The government is currently waiting to pass legislation relating to AFCA, O’Dwyer said. Once this occurs, the transition team will oversee the operational transition from existing schemes to AFCA.
“The transition team will – of course – consult extensively with industry and consumer stakeholders, as well as the Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Investments Ombudsman and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal,” she said.
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