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AFCA appoints COO

by Hannah Dowling5 minute read

The complaints body has announced the appointment of its new chief operating officer, effective 2 December.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced the appointment of Justin Untersteiner as its new chief operating officer, effective as of Monday, 2 December 2019.

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Mr Untersteiner has spent the last 13 years working for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in a range of corporate service and operations roles. 

He is currently the assistant commissioner of integrated compliance at the ATO, where he is responsible for leading the ATO’s approach on complex taxation and superannuation matters.


According to AFCA CEO and chief ombudsman David Locke, Mr Untersteiner’s experience make him the ideal candidate for the position.

“Justin has previously held the role of chief financial officer at the ATO responsible for the agency’s budget of $3.5 billion [per annum], he has led the ATO’s Corporate Procurement and Tax Management Branch and has led the delivery of the ATO’s strategy and client experience work in the individual taxpayer market with a client base of 9 million Australians,” Mr Locke said.

“Justin brings great experience in leading change and new approaches in a large complex national organisation. 

“He is a very impressive individual who shares AFCA’s passion for fairness and access to justice. I am delighted he has chosen to join AFCA at this critical stage in our development.”

He concluded: “Justin’s appointment further strengthens AFCA’s senior leadership team. 

“At AFCA we are committed to building a world-class ombudsman service that provides effective solutions to financial disputes and that positively influences reform.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Untersteiner said: “I am thrilled to be joining AFCA at this pivotal time. 

“AFCA’s remit is broad and complex, and the organisation is operating in a rapidly changing context. 

“I look forward to bringing my experience into the organisation and working with the highly committed and skilled staff as we roll out a number of exciting initiatives.”

The appointment comes after AFCA announced that it has awarded $185 million in compensation to consumers within its first year of operation, after receiving over 73,000 complaints.

This reportedly marks a 40 per cent increase in complaints received compared with AFCA’s predecessor schemes, and could be attributed to the fact that AFCA has been actively seeking complaints from members of the public at its "Financial Fairness Roadshow", which promotes the body's services.

The roadshow visited 26 locations across Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and regional NSW – engaging with more than 7,000 people and will continue across the country next year.

[Related: AFCA awards $185m in compensation]

AFCA appoints COO
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Hannah Dowling

Hannah Dowling


Hannah Dowling is a journalist for The Adviser and Mortgage Business.


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