The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) independently assists consumers and small businesses to make and resolve complaints about financial firms. We are impartial and do not act for either party to advocate their position. If a complaint does not resolve between the parties, we will decide an appropriate outcome.AFCA is not a government department or agency, and we are not a regulator of the financial services industry. Our service is free to the public.
The AFCA Datacube is a visualisation of information about complaints made to AFCA. It outlines the types of complaints, and allows you to view complaints by location and by product type. It also allows you to compare financial firms and how many complaints have been made against them.
For more information about AFCA, visit our website.
The complaint resolution process
Once we receive a complaint, we will work with the consumer or small business and the financial firm to resolve it. We have a range of methods and select the method, or combination of methods, that we think is most likely to resolve the complaint fairly and efficiently.
The AFCA complaint resolution process consists of three stages.
1. Registration and Referral stage
As a first step, we refer the complaint to the financial firm and request it responds to us and the complainant. The amount of time that the financial firm has to respond depends on the type of complaint and what’s happened previously, including whether the financial firm has had an opportunity to complete its internal dispute resolution process.
2. Case Management stage
If the complaint remains unresolved and progresses to our Case Management stage, we will generally try to first resolve a complaint by informal methods and reach a settlement between the parties through negotiation or conciliation.
If this doesn’t work, we may use more formal methods, where we may provide a preliminary assessment about the merits of a complaint, or we may a decision (called a determination).
3. Decision stage
We make our decisions based on what is fair in the circumstances of the complaint, considering relevant laws, codes of practice and information provided by the parties. There are some important differences between how we make decisions about superannuation complaints in comparison to other financial products and services.
Sometimes, it may be appropriate for us to make a decision straight away, rather than try to reach a settlement through negotiation or conciliation.
Find out more about our process here.