AFCA has created a new leadership position in order to tackle systemic issues within the financial sector.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced that it has created a new leadership position, in an attempt to raise standards and tackle systemic issues within the financial services sector.
The new position – lead ombudsman for systemic issues and remediation – will reportedly provide “professional and technical leadership” over AFCA’s systemic issues and “serious” contraventions investigations, as well as being responsible for overseeing remediation work.
AFCA chief executive officer and chief ombudsman David Locke said the new position demonstrates AFCA’s commitment to resolving systemic issues in the sector.
“Our systemic issues work gives us the opportunity to help financial firms fix issues that cause complaints and prevent more from occurring. It also helps raise industry standards and prevents harm to consumers,” Mr Locke said.
“The creation of the new position of lead ombudsman - systemic issues and remediation demonstrates that we take our role in identifying and resolving systemic issues very seriously.
“In the last 12 months, AFCA has identified and resolved 167 definite systemic issues. We also referred 30 possible serious contraventions to regulators.”
The newly created position is the latest in a string of appointments to AFCA, as it works towards an “ambitious strategy”, which includes the soon-to-be closing of the window to address legacy complaints, and increasing internal scrutiny of the body.
In July, AFCA announced the internal promotion of Dr June Smith to deputy chief ombudsman, from her previous position as lead ombudsman for superannuation, advice, investments and life insurance, as well as the appointment of Evelyn Halls to lead ombudsman for banking and finance.
Additionally, in light of AFCA’s fast-approaching deadline for the acceptance of legacy complaints, the body recently announced the appointment of Rob Guest as the executive general manager, customer service and resolution.
Further, just last week the complaints authority announced that Justin Untersteiner had been appointed as its new chief operating officer, after spending 13 years working for the Australian Taxation Office.
According to AFCA, the positions of lead ombudsman for superannuation and lead ombudsman for investments and advice are still vacant, and the process of recruitment continues.
Hannah Dowling is a journalist for The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
Prior to joining Momentum Media, Hannah worked as a content producer for a podcast catering to property investors. She also spent six years working in the real estate sector at a local agency.
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