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AFCA complaint volumes rising faster than 2023

by Charlotte Humphrys10 minute read

The complaints organisation is ‘very concerned’ about complaint levels in 2024, which are already ahead of the same period in 2023.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has revealed that complaints in 2024 so far are already ahead of the same period in 2023, which has made the organisation “very concerned”.

The announcement, made at its March member forum on Tuesday (26 March), has caused particular concern given there was a record number of complaints lodged in 2023.

Complaints are still mostly centred around financial scams, delays in communication, service, and quality across insurance and superannuation sectors, as well as increased levels of financial hardship.


The increased volumes have set a “new normal” for external complaint resolutions and have put pressure on AFCA’s service, according to the organisation.

David Locke, the chief ombudsman and chief executive of AFCA, acknowledged that 70 per cent of members do not have complaints levied against them but added that the responsibility for the complaints “principally sits with members”.

The organisation said: “We do not wish to be handling complaints generated by poor communication, by delay, or by poor complaint and dispute handling.”

Speaking on AFCA’s outlook for 2024, Locke said: “We want to see industry take the lead in improving standards and practice, in mitigating harm and building trust.

“At the end of the day, a successful, profitable financial services sector that treats consumers fairly and therefore commands high levels of public trust is surely the goal that we all should have.

“That’s why now is the time for Code commitments to be strengthened and certainly not diminished.

“It’s for this reason we are engaging actively with ASIC about the Banking Code of Practice, and with the team conducting the review of the General Insurance Code of Practice, and with all the code compliance committees on their important work.”

The announcement came as the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR) is set to begin receiving claims (starting from 2 April).

The CSLR aims to provide compensation of up to $150,000 to victims of financial misconduct who have an AFCA determination in their favour and have not been compensated.

The scheme will cover services and products including, credit intermediation, credit provision, securities dealing, personal advice on relevant financial products to retail clients, and insurance product distribution.

Locke commented on the introduction of the CSLR: “We really do see this as a step forward for consumer protection in Australia.”

[Related: CSLR to receive claims from 2 April]

david locke new  ta


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