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

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 773

252 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2018

See all articles by Ian Ramsay

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Julie Abramson

Productivity Commission

Alan Kirkland

CHOICE

Date Written: April 3, 2017

Abstract

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

Ramsay, Ian and Abramson, Julie and Kirkland, Alan, Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework: Final Report (April 3, 2017). Review of the Financial System External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework, Commonwealth of Australia (2017); ISBN 978-1-925504-06-4 ; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 773. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3095081

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

Julie Abramson

Productivity Commission ( email )

15 Moore Street
Level 2
Canberra City, ACT 2601
Australia

Alan Kirkland

CHOICE ( email )

57 Carrington Road
Marrickville, 2204
Australia

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