Brought to you by:

AFCA to make rule changes from July  

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority will implement updated rules and operational guidelines in July to give it more clarity and capacity to manage disputes.

It says new powers will increase its ability to manage unreasonable conduct by complainants and paid representatives, and widen the range of complaints it handles.

The changes will also allow for greater transparency in its decision-making processes around the effects of determinations and ability to make amendments.

It has also announced minor changes to some of the definitions it uses, as well as reporting and transparency requirements.

The changes, which the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has formally approved, come in response to recommendations made in a Treasury review of the body in 2021.

“With one year remaining in [the authority’s] response to the independent review, the organisation has made significant progress in implementing important initiatives and remains on track to complete its work in responding by the end of 2024,” Deputy Chief Ombudsman Dr June Smith said.

“I am proud to report that, as of the end of the year, work has commenced on all 14 recommendations, and we will complete several recommendations when [the rules] are updated on July 1.”

The authority says it conducted lengthy consultations with financial companies, consumer groups, industry bodies and other stakeholders last year, with nearly 600 items of feedback received.