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AFCA flooded with 200 complaints per day in first 12 months

Australians are making nearly 200 complaints a day to AFCA and a majority are related to banks, with credit issues at the top of the ladder.

AFCA flooded with 200 complaints per day in first 12 months
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • November 05, 2019
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Australians in dispute with their bank, insurance provider, super fund or other financial firms have lodged 73,000 complaints with the financial sector’s new ombudsman and have been awarded $185 million in compensation, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) revealed in its 12-month report.

People made 73,272 complaints to AFCA between 1 November 2018 and 31 October 2019, representing a 40 per cent jump in complaints received by the authority’s predecessor schemes.

Of the total complaints made, 44 per cent related to credit, 22 per cent to general insurance and 9 per cent to superannuation.

Banks were on the receiving end of 25,826 of complaints, while superannuation fund trustees or advisers copped 2,999 complaints in total.

“Every day we continue to hear from people who are dissatisfied with the way their financial firm has handled their complaint. These matters have not been resolved internally by financial firms and so the individual then brings their complaint to AFCA,” said AFCA CEO and Chief Ombudsman David Locke.

Of the complaints made, 56,420 have been resolved with the majority handled in 60 days or less. However, Mr Locke judged that there is still work to be done by firms to improve their practices and restore public faith in financial firms.

“AFCA will continue to focus on member engagement to help firms to enhance their own internal dispute resolution procedures,” he said.

According to AFCA, small business complaints numbered 3,869 and mostly related to misleading product/service information.

AFCA is currently touring the country with its Financial Fairness Roadshow. So far, they’ve been to 26 locations across Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and regional NSW, and plan to visit the rest of the country in the first half of 2020.

Coinciding with the roadshow are forums for small business, consumer advocates and AFCA members in 10 locations across the country.

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