Financial firms legally required to co-operate with AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has welcomed the Government announcement that from 6 April 2019 financial firms will be required by law to co-operate with AFCA to resolve financial complaints.

Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer, David Locke said this was an important step in ensuring consumers and small businesses have their financial complaints solved effectively and efficiently.

“Commissioner Hayne recommended the law be amended to require AFCA members to take reasonable steps to co-operate 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.” Mr Locke said.

AFCA expects all financial firms to co-operate 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 continued.

“If we see any failure to co-operate 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.”