Reporting period: July-December 2020

Independent Assessor: Melissa Dwyer

 

Key messages

  • I received 91 complaints during the six months to 31 December 2020, one fewer compared to the previous six months.
  • A total of 85 complaints were closed during the period, 25 of which were closed upon the issue of an assessment. The other 60 were closed because they were specifically excluded from my jurisdiction by the Independent Assessor’s Terms of Reference, were withdrawn by the complainant or the complainant failed to respond to correspondence.
  • 56% (14) of complaints assessed had one or more issues substantiated. There was an average of six issues in each complaint, but the one complaint that was substantiated in full had only one issue.
  • During the period I recommended:
    • apologies be made to 14 complainants
    • a total of $4,550 non-financial compensation be paid
    • other action be taken in two complaints.
  • Some examples of complaints that were substantiated are:
    • timeframes not met (delays in case progression, late responding to calls or emails, not providing updates)
    • failure to address ‘key issues’ as submitted for a service complaint
    • failure to exchange information relied upon in a preliminary assessment or determination

Analysis

Complaints to the Independent Assessor

 

1 July to 31 December 2020

New Complaints Registered

 

91

Complaints Closed:

 

 

           Assessments Issued

25

 

           Outside terms of reference (time period expired)

1

 

           Outside terms of reference (merits-based complaint)

15

 

Outside terms of reference (open financial firm complaint)

11

 

           Outside terms of reference (AFCA service complaint in progress)

9

 

           Outside terms of reference (complaint not yet made to AFCA)

16

 

Outside terms of reference (other)

4

 

Withdrawn

2

 

Failure to response to IA correspondence

2

85

New Complaints Added to Queue/(Queue reduced)

 

6

Assessments Issued

 

1 July to 31 December 2020

Complaint substantiated (in part or fully)

14

Complaint not substantiated

11

 

25

Snapshot of Outstanding Assessments (By Age)

 

Total

<30 days

1-3 months

3-6 months

>6 months

As at 30 June 2020

27

10

12

4

1

As at 30 September 2020

33

10

9

14

0

As at 31 December 2020

33

6

12

14

1

 

Complaints about AFCA’s service July - December 2020

  • AFCA received 466 complaints about its service in the six months to 31 December 2020. 497 service complaints were investigated, responded to and finalised during the period.
  • The average age of service complaints closed in the six-month period was 57 days.
  • Service complaints received between July and December 2020 represented 1.3% of financial firm complaints that AFCA received in the period.
  • 86% of issues raised in service complaints finalised during the period were not substantiated (810 issues). 14% of issues raised in finalised service complaints were substantiated (137 issues).
  • Of the service complaint issues that were substantiated, most related to standard of services issues, with the three most common issues substantiated being delay (54), incorrect or insufficient information being provided (13), and failing to keep parties informed about the progress of their complaint (11).
  • Clarification of our process or a decision we issued or providing an apology for any service related issues upheld were the most common outcomes for services complaints finalised in the period.

Summary of service complaints received and closed July – December 2020

Period

Total Complaints Received

Total Complaints Closed

July – December 2020

466

497

Service issue outcome summary July – December 2020

ISSUE TYPE

Substantiated

Total

Determinations

SUBSTANTIATED

14

 

UNSUBSTANTIATED

264

Membership/ Finance Related

SUBSTANTIATED

4

 

UNSUBSTANTIATED

25

Service

SUBSTANTIATED

119

 

UNSUBSTANTIATED

521

Total

 

947

Some service complaints have more than one issue raised. This means that the number of complaint issues are greater than the number of complaints received or closed.

Please refer to the latest AFCA Annual Review for a full report of the previous 12 months.

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