The Government has announced a review of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
AFCA is the external dispute resolution body established to resolve complaints by consumers and small businesses about financial firms.
AFCA was established on 1 November 2018 in response to the Review of the financial system external dispute resolution and complaints framework and replaced the three dispute resolution bodies — the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). Further information on AFCA can be found on the AFCA website.
The legislation underpinning the establishment of AFCA requires the Minister to cause an independent review of AFCA as soon as practicable after 18 months of operation. The review was not conducted earlier due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In conjunction with submissions received during public consultation, Treasury has commissioned an independent expert to assess a selection of cases for the review. The prior deadline of 30 June 2021 has been extended to allow for the completion of that expert assessment.
The review is independent of AFCA and being conducted by Treasury, with a report to be finalised and presented to the Minister by 13 August 2021.
The report will be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after being provided to the Minister.
The Government has released the final terms of reference for the AFCA review and invites all interested parties to make a submission by Friday, 26 March 2021. Stakeholders wishing to submit a confidential submission should clearly mark their submission.
AFCA Review Secretariat