The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme to deal with complaints from consumers in the financial system.
It is operated by a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee authorised by the responsible minister.
AFCA replaces the three former EDR schemes of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) with the aim of providing consumers access to a single EDR scheme.
Membership of the company will be required under law or a licence condition of a financial firm. AFCA operations are financed by contributions made by its members. The scheme is free to consumers.
- is the single point of contact for complainants for EDR services
- has higher monetary limits
- is more accountable to users, including by having an independent assessor to deal with complaints about its handling of disputes
- has rules (terms of reference) to support its dispute resolution functions and legislation in the case of superannuation disputes.
ASIC approved the AFCA Rules, which are effective for all complaints lodged with AFCA from 1 November 2018.