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Financial planners say drop in complaints 'encouraging'

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The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has responded to the latest complaints data, saying a sharp drop in disputes is an “encouraging” development for the profession.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) figures for the 2021/22 year show 610 dispute cases were lodged, a more than 50% decline from the preceding period, when 1238 were received.

FPA says the 610 complaints relating to financial advice represents 0.8% of all cases received by AFCA.

The peak body says 672 financial advice-related complaints were closed over the same period, including 110 at the registration and referral stage of the process and that 235 were resolved by agreement between the adviser and the client.

At the determination stage, 50% were resolved in favour of the planner.

“It is encouraging to see a fall in the number of complaints which highlights the ongoing professionalism of financial planners right across the country,” FPA CEO Sarah Abood said.

“Not only are the absolute numbers of complaints falling, but in many cases complaints are being resolved in the planner’s favour.”