The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) today announced the appointment of outgoing ACCC Deputy Chair Ms Delia Rickard to its board. Her appointment, for three years, is effective from 1 August 2022.
“Ms Rickard brings to the board a wide range of skills from a distinguished public service career in consumer policy. She has a deep understanding of the current and emerging challenges facing consumers and financial firms,” AFCA Independent Chair Professor John Pollaers OAM said when announcing the appointment today.
“We will also benefit from her insight into financial inclusion, as we seek to ensure all Australians have access to our ombuds service.
“The AFCA Board is made up of an independent and expert group of Directors holding extensive financial services industry and consumer experience and brings a breadth of knowledge operating across multi-dimensional and highly complex industries. The Board is committed to ensuring that AFCA continues be an effective external dispute resolution scheme for financial services, with a focus on efficiency and customer service, and providing clear member and community value.
“Ms Rickard’s deep knowledge and expertise in the consumer space will ensure AFCA continues to deliver against these goals and keeps an essential focus on ensuring consumer accessibility and inclusion.”
Ms Rickard has been Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) since June 2012. She has extensive public service experience and a passion for consumer protection, and has worked in a variety of senior roles, primarily at the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). She is also an Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
“Throughout her illustrious career, Ms Rickard has had a strong interest in financial services and the impact of the financial services industry on vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers. She oversaw development of the highly regarded Moneysmart website at ASIC, and has been a member of numerous committees at the ACCC, including those on the consumer data right, enforcement and compliance, and product safety. She has also been a member of the ACCC’s Financial Services Competition Board, and she chaired the ACCC’s market study into the cost of insurance in Northern Australia,” Prof. Pollaers noted.
Ms Rickard is also a trustee of the Jan Pentland Foundation, which provides scholarships for those who want to work as financial counsellors, and is the Chair of Good Shepherd’s Advisory Committee on Financial Inclusion Action Plans.
Ms Rickard was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2011 for her contribution to consumer protection and financial services. She has also been awarded the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award and was recently announced as the inaugural winner of the Law Council of Australia’s Consumer Rights Award.
Ms Rickard said: “AFCA plays a vital role in protecting consumers and in helping the financial services sector deliver the best possible service to its customers. I look forward to contributing to an organisation with such a strong sense of purpose, one that is having a real impact for consumers and the financial services sector.”
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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government external dispute resolution service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes.
AFCA 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.