The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) throws opens its doors today. The new ombudsman aims to restore the public’s trust in Australia’s financial institutions in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission.
The AFCA will work to reach fair outcomes, creating accessible services that meet diverse community needs and deliver independent and impartial decision making in disputes. It is hoped the new Ombudsman will raise standards and improve internal practices to reduce and resolve disputes.
AFCA independent Chair, the Hon. Helen Coonan said the AFCA will play an important role in restoring trust in Australia’s financial institutions in the wake of the findings of the Royal Commission.
“We will influence reform in the financial services sector by raising standards and improving internal practices to reduce and resolve disputes,” Coonan said.
AFCA Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman, David Locke agreed suggesting the AFCA will provide Australians with services that are easy to use, free and efficient.
“We will use a range of skills including conciliation and negotiation to find fair solutions for all the parties. Where matters cannot be settled then we will make timely and impartial determinations based upon the evidence. Any determinations of AFCA, if accepted by the consumer or small business, is binding on the financial services firm involved.”
Locke described the opening of the AFCA as a significant milestone for the financial services sector and the consumers and small businesses who use these services every day.”
If any consumers or small businesses have an unresolved complaint about a financial product or service, they can contact AFCA from today.