The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has backed the government’s announcement legally requiring financial firms to cooperate with AFCA to resolve financial complaints.
David Locke, chief ombudsman and CEO, said the government move will ensure the financial complaints of consumers and small businesses are resolved efficiently and effectively.
“Commissioner Hayne recommended the law be amended to require AFCA members to take reasonable steps to cooperate with us in the resolution of disputes,” Locke said. “This was an important recommendation and we are pleased that from today, financial firms will be required by law to provide all relevant documents and records relating to complaints.”
Locke said AFCA expects all financial firms to cooperate fully, and respond promptly and comprehensively to all requests.
“Financial firms need to act in good faith at all times, treat consumers fairly and conduct themselves ethically. This is non-negotiable,” Locke said. “If we see any failure to cooperate fully and honestly with AFCA we will call this out in the strongest possible terms and work with regulators to see appropriate regulatory action taken. AFCA already has the ability to draw adverse inferences where documentation is not provided and does so.”