Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework: Final Report
Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework, Commonwealth of Australia (2017); ISBN 978-1-925504-06-4
252 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2018
Date Written: April 3, 2017
This is the report of the independent Panel asked by the Australian government to review the financial system external dispute resolution (EDR) and complaints framework. As the Panel notes, it is essential that consumers of financial products and services have access to effective EDR. The current EDR arrangements consist of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). In 2015-16, FOS, CIO and SCT received 41,223 disputes in total, with FOS receiving 34,095 disputes (83 per cent), CIO receiving 4,760 disputes (12 per cent) and SCT receiving 2,368 disputes (6 per cent). The Panel found that although the existing EDR framework reflects some important strengths, a number of features of the framework mean that it is not producing the best possible outcomes for some users.
The problems identified by the Panel include:
(a) issues associated with the existence of multiple EDR bodies with overlapping jurisdictions;
(b) the monetary limits and compensation caps of the EDR bodies have fallen behind what is required to ensure access to justice;
(c) small business does not have adequate access to EDR;
(d) the dispute resolution arrangements for superannuation are not adequate; and
(e) there are gaps and overlaps in membership of EDR bodies.
The report contains a series of recommendations designed to address these problems.
Keywords: alternative dispute resolution; financial disputes; ombudsman; superannuation; consumers
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation