On 1 November 2018, we opened the doors of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). The establishment of AFCA is without a doubt a significant development in the financial services industry. AFCA is the new ombudsman scheme for the financial services sector, replacing three predecessor organisations — the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the work of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
AFCA was a key recommendation of the Ramsay Review into external dispute resolution that started in 2016. This review recommended a simplification of the duplicative industry ombudsman schemes that consumers and small businesses had to navigate when they had a problem with a financial product or service. AFCA is designed to make it easier for consumers and small businesses to access the scheme as a one-stop-shop. With a single point of entry to make a complaint about a financial firm, consumers and small businesses, AFCAwill deliver to the Australian community services that are easy to use, free for complainants, efficient, timely and most importantly — fair.