The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has received over 60,000 complaints since launching in November 2018. The news comes as the watchdog prepares to name and shame institutions for wrongful behaviour from October.
AFCA reports 73 per cent of complainants were able to reach a resolution, with 65 per cent of those calling for a refund successfully achieving it. To date over $144 million has been refunded.
Two in three complainants had disputes resolved in their favour, while 68 per cent who set out to have a mistake rectified managed to reach a resolution.
Yet AFCA’s lead ombudsman for small business, Geoff Brown suggests more small business owners need to be made aware of their right to pursue external dispute resolution. Of the 60,687 complaints received, only 3,326 were from small businesses, with the majority relating to misleading product and service information.
AFCA is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses that have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation.
The organisation has a one-year window to consider ‘legacy complaints’ dating back to 2008.
Research has shown that less than half of those who experience a problem with their financial firm, actually make a complaint. This could be because they’re not sure if their complaint is valid, or because they think the financial firm won’t listen to them.
To address this, the AFCA Financial Fairness Roadshow will stop at 77 metropolitan, regional and rural communities across Australia. The AFCA team will hit the ground running hosting forums and canvassing local businesses and consumers in an effort to resolve complaints, particularly for those from regional and remote communities.
Visit afca.org.au to find out when the roadshow will be visiting a town near you.