Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

AFCA bill passes Senate

approved  approved  sme logo
Reporter 5 minute read

The legislation for the new one-stop shop dispute resolution body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, has passed the Senate and will come into being next year.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First – Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill was agreed to by the Senate on Wednesday (6 December) and introduced and read for the first time in the House of Representatives yesterday (7 December).

AFCA aims to replace the existing Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and be a “one-stop shop” for dispute resolution.

It will commence operation in the second half of 2018.


Speaking after the legislation passed the Senate, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer said that the new body would “give significantly more consumers and small businesses access to free, fast and binding dispute resolution”.

She commented: “AFCA is a landmark reform that will overhaul how financial disputes are dealt with in Australia. It will operate under significantly higher monetary limits and compensation caps. This will provide considerably greater access to redress for consumers and small businesses, and in particular, farmers, who will have access to up to $2 million in compensation under the new AFCA scheme.”

The bill was passed with a number of minor amendments moved by the government in relation to the handling of superannuation disputes, to review AFCA’s operations after a period of 18 months from its commencement, and to enshrine in legislation the requirement that the AFCA chair be independent.

These changes respond to key issues raised by stakeholders in submissions to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee and crossbench Senators. 

“I’d like to thank Professor Ian Ramsay, Ms Julie Abramson and Mr Alan Kirkland for their work on the External Dispute Resolution review, and all stakeholders who played a constructive role in the development and passage of these important reforms,” Ms O’Dwyer said.


“I encourage all interested parties to continue to engage with Dr Edey and the Transition Team who are overseeing the transition from the existing schemes to AFCA. Continued engagement will ensure that AFCA will provide better outcomes for consumers, while being accountable to all stakeholders.”

As well as AFCA, two housing affordability measures - the First Home Super Saver Scheme and the Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures - also passed the Senate.

The bills, which will allow first home buyers to make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total into their superannuation account, and seniors to make contributions of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home into their super accounts, will come into effect from 1 July 2018.

The bills will now move to the House of Representatives for final passage.

[Related: First home buyer numbers rise by a third]

AFCA bill passes Senate
TheAdviser logo

Are you a new-to-industry broker in the process of growing your business? Then there’s some great news: The Adviser’s New Broker Academy is back in 2021 and will provide you with essential insights into cutting-edge tools, strategies and processes to fast-track to success. Don’t miss your chance to attend. To secure your FREE place, visit newbroker.com.au now!



more from the adviser
Shayne Elliott 2

Breaking News

Prioritise lending standards over turnarounds: ANZ CEO

The big four boss has declared that banks should now be conductin...

YBR home loans

Breaking News

Yellow Brick Road announces rebrand

The major brokerage has rebranded to Yellow Brick Road Home Loans...

techlend 850 ta

Breaking News

Bridging loan demand booms as house prices skyrocket

Broker-founded lender TechLend has received $100 million in bri...