With the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) set to commence on Nov. 1, licenced financial firms yet to join the new single external dispute-resolution (EDR) scheme are urged to act immediately, or risk penalties.
Corporate regulator ASIC said more than 35,000 firms required to join AFCA have now become members, but more than 300 firms have still not joined, mostly credit licensees who were former members of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman.
Licensees who failed to join AFCA by Sept. 21 “are in breach of their licence obligations” and may have their licence suspended or cancelled; while credit representatives who are required to join AFCA but do not do so by Nov. 1, will have their authorisation invalidated and will be banned from engaging in credit activities, ASIC said.
Licensees and credit representatives who have still not applied for AFCA membership are urged to do so immediately via the AFCA website.
Those exiting the industry are also reminded to cancel their licence in accordance with licence conditions.