Information for journalists
What is AFCA?
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) helps individuals and small businesses to resolve complaints about financial products and services. It is a free, independent and impartial service.
All Australian financial services licensees, Australian credit licensees, authorised credit representatives and superannuation trustees are required to be a member of AFCA under their financial services licence conditions. Some other financial firms are voluntary members.
Individuals and small businesses who have an unresolved complaint with a financial firm can lodge a complaint if the financial firm is a member of the AFCA dispute resolution scheme.
What we do
AFCA can look at complaints about:
- banking and finance
- investments and financial advice
Need to know
AFCA is not a government agency or regulator. It is an independent external dispute resolution – or ombudsman – service.
Under its Rules, AFCA must do what is fair in all the circumstances, and have regard to:
- legal principles
- applicable industry codes or guidance
- good industry practice
- previous relevant determinations of AFCA or predecessor schemes.
We first try to help the parties resolve a complaint through negotiation or conciliation. Next, AFCA can provide a preliminary assessment about the merits of a complaint.
If there is still no resolution, the final step is for AFCA to make a binding decision (also known as a determination).
Need to know
Our decisions name financial firms, but we do not identify complainants – so we cannot share such details with you.
Publicly available data
You can access publicly available data on complaints via the AFCA Datacube, which can be filtered by location, product or individual firm. Please note that the Datacube includes data only for firms that have had four or more complaints. For total complaints across all firms, please see the Annual Review or our media release at the end of each financial year.
Need to know
Please note the Datacube displays information about firms with four or more complaints only, not all complaints. The data is updated every six months.
Please contact the media office with any other data requests.
Help your audience
We very much appreciate it when journalists help make people aware of AFCA. Where appropriate, you might like to use wording along these lines:
If you haven’t been able to resolve a complaint directly with your financial firm, you can contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678. AFCA offers a free and independent dispute resolution service.