2020–21 Annual Review

Previous schemes

On 1 November 2018, AFCA replaced the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

All outstanding disputes with FOS and CIO were transferred to AFCA to be resolved.

  • Complaints with FOS were handled by AFCA under the FOS terms of reference.
  • Complaints with CIO were handled by AFCA under the CIO Rules.

At the time of AFCA’s creation, complaints from SCT were not transferred to AFCA. SCT continued to operate to resolve existing complaints that were lodged before 1 November 2018. SCT ceased operating at the end of 2020.

In December 2020, ASIC approved an update to the AFCA Rules to provide for the transfer and handling of all remaining open complaints from SCT to AFCA by 31 December 2020.

Under the ASIC policy applying to the CIO and FOS schemes (Regulatory Guide 139: Approval and oversight of external dispute resolution schemes), AFCA must publish information about complaints and disputes received and closed by FOS and CIO for the period of 1 July 2018 to 30 October 2018.

Financial Ombudsman Service

FOS was an ASIC-approved EDR scheme under RG 139.

It considered complaints about:

  • banking and finance
  • home, contents, travel and life insurance
  • insurance broking
  • financial planning
  • managed funds
  • mortgage and finance broking
  • pooled superannuation funds
  • estate planning and management
  • traditional trustee services.

On 1 November 2018, FOS transferred 7,738 open complaints to AFCA to resolve. Between 1 November 2018 and 30 June 2020, AFCA closed 7,801 complaints previously lodged with FOS. In 2020–21, AFCA closed three FOS complaints. These complaints had been closed, but were subsequently reopened and again resolved.

Credit and Investments Ombudsman

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) was an ASIC-approved EDR scheme under RG 139.

It considered complaints about:

  • mortgages
  • credit products
  • financial planning
  • managed investment
  • deposit taking.

On 1 November 2018, CIO transferred 2,490 open complaints to AFCA to resolve. Between 1 November 2018 and 30 June 2020, AFCA closed 2,098 complaints previously lodged with CIO. In 2020–21, AFCA closed an additional 14 complaints.

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal was established under the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act in 1993.

It considered complaints about superannuation, specifically:

  • administration
  • account balances
  • disability benefits
  • death benefits
  • delays in payments.

In December 2020, SCT ceased operations and had resolved all complaints lodged with them. The closure of SCT marked the successful transition of all three predecessor EDR schemes to the AFCA jurisdiction.

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