ASIC has revealed improved consumer access to dispute resolution schemes in order to resolve disagreements more quickly and efficiently.
Under the key changes announced yesterday, all external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes will be required to deal with claims of up to $500,000 from January 1 2010 – compared to the current $280,000 – although maximum compensation payable per claim will remain capped at $280,000.
As of January 1 2012, EDR schemes will only be allowed to limit the maximum compensation payable per claim to a minimum $280,000 with the ability to opt for a higher figure in the rules of the scheme.
“The increase in claim limits and compensation caps in EDR schemes will ensure that many more consumers and retail investors will be able to bring their claims to EDR schemes, avoiding the expense of litigation. We think this is a big improvement,’ said Jeremy Cooper, ASIC deputy chairman.
Under the new arrangements EDR schemes will also have discretion whether or not to cancel a member's membership and/or continue to handle a complaint where a member ceases to carry on business.
EDR schemes will also be required to publish statistics about the number of complaints received and resolved against individual EDR scheme members.
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