Financial firms must join AFCA now

ASIC has warned all Australian financial services licensees, Australian credit licensees, authorised credit representatives and superannuation trustees that they must join the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) now if they have not already done so.

The Minister for Financial Services set a membership deadline for joining AFCA of 21 September 2018. This can be done via the AFCA website (www.afca.org.au). Financial firms who do not do this will be in breach of the law.

NIBA has also reminded members to pay close attention to the steps that MUST be taken, following the transition from FOS to AFCA.

There are three areas which need to be considered:

1. Impact on PI insurance
2. Impact on FSG and PDS documents where they refer to external Dispute resolution
3. Impact on other documents and communications that refer to FOS

The association has asked its members to ensure that they have taken relevant action and if necessary sought legal advice.

ASIC is closely monitoring membership lists with AFCA and will be following up with firms who fail to meet this deadline and is finalising an instrument which allows firms an extended period to notify ASIC about their AFCA membership details. Firms will be able to update their details between 1 and 30 November 2018. This does not extend the period for joining AFCA.

Financial firms must prioritise obtaining their AFCA membership.