The Evolution and Consolidation of External Dispute Resolution Schemes in the Financial Sector: From the Banking Ombudsman to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority
Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp.182-198, 2019
23 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2019 Last revised: 14 Feb 2020
Date Written: May 6, 2019
The Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman (ABIO) was the first external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme set up and funded by industry members at a national level in Australia. It came into operation in 1990. The ABIO was a significant first step in the development of EDR schemes to resolve disputes between financial service providers and consumers. At one stage there were seven different industry-funded EDR schemes in existence in the financial sector. However, the existence of multiple schemes proved to be problematic. Several of the EDR schemes merged in 2008 to create the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and in November 2018, FOS, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal were replaced by a single body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. This article examines the establishment of the ABIO, outlines the expansion of industry-established EDR schemes operating in the financial sector, and then considers the arguments for the consolidation of the schemes.
Keywords: financial firms; dispute resolution; ombudsman; consumer protection
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