AFCA has published a new report which summarises work undertaken to ensure AFCA’s Fairness jurisdiction is well understood by stakeholders, that it is applied consistently and independently, and in a way that is fair for members and complainants.
The report is the conclusion of the Fairness Jurisdiction Project – a strategic program of work to develop resources for AFCA staff, members, and complainants which communicate our jurisdiction throughout our process. These include;
- New Fairness Jurisdiction Tool which ensures AFCA can discuss important issues for resolution with the parties in plain english.
- New decision templates to clearly explain how AFCA has applied the fairness tests in its complaint handling and why decisions made are fair in all the circumstances.
- Apprehended bias policy to ensure AFCA’s people remain impartial when working with the parties to resolve complaints.
- The AFCA Engagement Charter which clearly sets expectations of how parties should engage with each other and AFCA to ensure a fair process.
- Revised AFCA Approach library providing members and complainants with easy-to-understand information about how we handle specific types of complaints.
- New processes to calculate and capture fair outcomes once achieved.
The Fairness Jurisdiction Project outcomes are consistent with the AFCA Independent Review recommendations and will be central to AFCA’s response to recommendation two. Next AFCA will be:
- creating a uniform framework for consultation when developing AFCA Approach documents,
- developing a forward-looking mechanism to review AFCA approaches,
- further enhancing systems, processes and tools to drive efficiency in process and reduce complaint handling times,
- providing greater clarity about AFCA’s role to assist the parties during the process, including the accessibility of AFCA’s services,
- clarifying our jurisdiction in relation to sophisticated investors,
- revising our approach to paid representatives and ensuring efficient management of complaints.
For more information, read the Fairness Jurisdiction Project report.
Published: 11 May 2022
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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.