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Terms set for financial system complaints review

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The Federal Government today released the terms of reference for a review of the financial system’s external dispute resolution and complaints network.

It has also extended the deadline for a final report by three months to the end of next March.

The review, announced earlier this year, will examine the role, powers, governance and accountability of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and Credit and Investments Ombudsman.

The terms of reference require examination of costs and funding, gaps and overlaps between the groups, and the way they work with government, regulators, consumers, industry and other stakeholders.

FOS says it endorses the key considerations, including a remit to make observations on a statutory compensation scheme of last resort.

“FOS has been a long-standing advocate of a compensation scheme over many years,” Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis said.

“It is essential for the effective operation of external dispute resolution that consumers who get an award of compensation by FOS can be confident this compensation will be paid.”

In May the Government said University of Melbourne Professor of Commercial Law Ian Ramsay would chair the panel, with a final report due by the end of this year.

But Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says the panel has sought a three-month extension, to allow for in-depth consultation.

“This review builds on the Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, which sets out a suite of policies to improve Australia’s financial system,” she said.