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Got a problem with your financial service provider? It’s worth complaining

  • July 02 2020
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Borrow

Got a problem with your financial service provider? It’s worth complaining

By Grace Ormsby
July 02 2020

More than 80,000 complaints have been filed with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority in the past 12 months alone, which has led to the recuperation of more than $250 million in compensation and refunds for Aussie consumers.

problem with your financial service provide

Got a problem with your financial service provider? It’s worth complaining

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  • July 02 2020
  • Share

More than 80,000 complaints have been filed with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority in the past 12 months alone, which has led to the recuperation of more than $250 million in compensation and refunds for Aussie consumers.

problem with your financial service provide

Proving that it’s worth lodging a dispute with the regulator, AFCA has revealed it was able to resolve 78 per cent of the 80,546 complaints, which mainly related to the conduct of banks, insurers, super funds and financial firms.

Almost 30,000 complaints were directed at the banks (28,411), while 15,748 complaints related to the conduct of general insurers.

A further 9,857 complaints were associated with credit providers.

AFCA highlighted that a whopping one in five licensee members, or 19 per cent, had a complaint lodged against them over the financial year.

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According to CEO and chief ombudsman David Locke, most complaints over the 12-month period centred around credit (43 per cent of complaints), insurance claims (24 per cent) and superannuation (9 per cent).

He flagged that a further one in 10 complaints related to financial difficulty – “where a consumer was unable to make repayments on loans due to unforeseen circumstances or over-commitment”.

And while complaints that were related to the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to involve financial difficulty, Mr Locke said that overall, AFCA saw less complaints related to COVID-19 than it had anticipated.

This was due to the “proactive response” taken by financial firms, Mr Locke considered.

“We commend financial institutions for their quick response to the pandemic,” he added.

“As always, we encourage banks and insurers to maintain open and transparent communication with their customers about the support available to them if they’re experiencing financial difficulty.”

AFCA does expect to see more COVID-19 financial difficulty-related complaints over the next six months, the CEO flagged, especially as government support measures wind back, and an end to the ban on rental evictions and mortgage pauses occurs.

“If you think you will experience financial hardship soon, or believe your circumstances will change, we encourage you to contact your bank or a financial counsellor as soon as possible to talk about the options available to you,” the chief ombudsman has advised.


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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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