- About this Annual Review
- Board Chair message
- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Ombudsman message
- About us
- Strategic plan
- Year in review – strategic initiatives
- Year at a glance
- Who complained to AFCA?
- Overview of complaints
- Open cases
- Complaints closed by AFCA
- Banking and finance complaints
- General insurance complaints
- Superannuation complaints
- Investments and advice complaints
- Life insurance complaints
- Financial difficulty complaints
- Small business complaints
- Complaints lodged by consumer advocates
- Legacy complaints
- Complaints outside the Rules
- Systemic issues
- Naming financial firms
- Significant events
- Stakeholder engagement
- People and culture
- Feedback about our service
- Independent Assessor Report
- Corporate information
- AFCA General Purpose Financial Report 2021
- Code compliance and monitoring
- Previous schemes
- Appendix 1
AFCA activates significant event response plans for events that could potentially result in large numbers of related complaints being lodged with AFCA, such as natural disasters and severe weather events.
The significant event response plan provides for early communication with relevant stakeholders, and a more streamlined, expedited process for the resolution of related complaints.
AFCA also regularly engages with industry including ASIC, the Commonwealth Treasury and APRA, as well as industry representatives, such as the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), to ensure our approach to handling these disputes is appropriate.
In the last financial year, AFCA activated five significant event response plans to support those directly impacted. These related to:
- Victorian floods and storms – 15 June 2021
- Tropical Cyclone Seroja – 14 April 2021
- New South Wales and South East Queensland storms and floods – 22 March 2021
- Perth Hill bushfires – 5 February 2021
- South East Queensland Halloween hailstorms – 1 November 2020.
In total, AFCA received 9,097 complaints related to significant events in 2020–21 (including those related to significant events that had been declared in previous financial years).
The vast majority of those complaints (8,303) related to COVID-19, which was declared a significant event in 2019–20.
AFCA has continued to work hard to respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic in a flexible and pragmatic way.
In 2020–21, there were 8,303 COVID-related complaints, up from 5,013 in just four months at the end of 2019–20, after the pandemic was officially declared.
AFCA resolved 9,344 COVID-19, related financial complaints this year. The most common issues seen in complaints about COVID-19 were financial firms’ failure to respond to requests for assistance (1,056), denial of claim – exclusion/condition (822), denial of claim (763) and delay in claim handling (633).
Of the complaints received, 1,995 were from consumers and small businesses experiencing financial difficulties.
Between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021
8,303 complaints received
85% complaints resolved
1,995 complaints involved financial difficulty
COVID-19 complaints by product area 1
|Banking and finance||4,809||58%|
|Investments and advice||313||4%|
COVID-19 complaints – top 10 products 2
|Personal transaction accounts||332||4%|
|Investment property loans||152||2%|
|Loss of profits/ business interruption||123||1%|
COVID-19 complaints – top 10 issues 3
|Financial firm failure to respond to request for assistance||1,056||11%|
|Insurance – denial of claim – exclusion/condition||822||9%|
|Insurance – denial of claim||763||8%|
|Insurance – delay in claim handling||633||7%|
|Decline of financial difficulty request||511||6%|
|Insurance – claim amount||336||4%|
1 One complaint can have multiple product areas. Percentages have been rounded and, as a result, do not total to 100%.
2 One complaint can have multiple products.
3 One complaint can have multiple issues.