Treasurer Announces One-stop-shop for Financial Complaints
On Wednesday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert announced a one-stop shop for financial complaints is open for business.
Australian consumers and small business will be spared the expense and inconvenience associated with taking financial complaints to court, with the Coalition Government’s Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) open for business from last Thursday.
Consumers and small businesses will benefit from having increased access to redress as AFCA will have significantly higher monetary limits and compensation caps than were available under the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).
AFCA will be able to hear consumer complaints where the value of the dispute is less than $1 million and will be able to award compensation of up to $500,000. This will be almost double the exiting limits of FOS and CIO.
In the case of small business credit complaints, a small business will be able to have their complaint heard where it relates to a credit facility of less than $5 million and will be eligible for compensation of up to $1 million. This will be almost triple the existing limits of FOS and CIO.
In the case of a small business primary production dispute, AFCA will be able to award compensation of up to $2 million.
AFCA will retain an unlimited monetary jurisdiction for superannuation complaints. The Government committed to provide $1.7 million to support AFCA’s establishment, as part of the 2018-19 Budget.