AFCA launches new tool to increase transparency and consumer education

AFCA launches new tool to increase transparency and consumer education | Insurance Business

AFCA launches new tool to increase transparency and consumer education

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has introduced a new tool that will enable consumers, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to access recent data on how complaints lodged to the EDR body are being handled by insurers, banks, super funds, or other financial firms.

Read more: AFCA receives more complaints than initially forecasted

AFCA’s new comparative reporting tool, called Datacube, is designed to increase transparency and consumer education. It includes information about the number of complaints received, how long it takes each member firm to resolve complaints, and the number of times financial firms did not respond to a complaint. It also allows people to compare financial firms side-by-side.

“This tool – the AFCA Datacube – provides a much deeper level of detail about the issues and products that consumers and small businesses are complaining to us about,” said David Locke, AFCA CEO and chief ombudsman. “Anyone can use this tool to review the performance of their financial firm and compare it to others in the market. This data, and the level of detail that consumers can see about each firm, will also support the work of policymakers and researchers. For financial firms themselves they can clearly see how they are tracking at handling complaints and how this compares to others in the market.”

AFCA is required by corporate regulator ASIC to publish information about the complaints it receives and resolves, organized by financial firms’ names, and ensure it is comparable by business size and industry sector.

“This tool presents AFCA’s data in a way that is more accessible and easier to understand and interrogate,” Locke said, adding, “AFCA will be rolling out many data and feature enhancements over the coming months.” 

The Datacube contains AFCA’s data between Nov. 01, 2018 and June 30, and will be updated every six months. The next update to the tool is expected to be released in January.