ASIC releases guidance for its oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)

Ahead of the commencement of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) on 1 November 2018, ASIC has released new Regulatory Guide 267 Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (RG 267).

ASIC is releasing new guidance in advance of AFCA commencement to provide policy certainty for stakeholders and to support an efficient transition to the new single scheme.

The release of RG 267 completes another transitional step to AFCA commencement. This follows:

  • the Minister’s authorisation of the operator of the scheme on 23 April 2018;
  • the Minister’s announcements confirming that:
    • AFCA will commence accepting complaints on 1 November 2018; and
    • financial firms required to be members of AFCA must be members by 21 September 2018;
    • AFCA commencing public consultation on the proposed AFCA Rules; and
    • ASIC giving disclosure relief for financial firms during the transition to AFCA.

In March 2018, we issued Consultation Paper 298 Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority: Update to RG 139 (CP 298), consulting on:

  • the framework for reporting by AFCA to regulators;
  • the role of the AFCA independent assessor; and
  • whether the transition period to the commencement of AFCA allowed sufficient time for firms to comply with their dispute resolution disclosure obligations.

Report 577 Response to submissions on CP 298 Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (REP 577) sets out our response to submissions received to CP 298.

ASIC will retain its existing guidance in RG 139 until all complaints made under the existing approved schemes, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) have been resolved. We will then repeal that guidance.

Licensees and credit representatives must continue to maintain their EDR membership through the transitional period, including paying membership and other scheme fees in full as required.

Download RG 267

Download REP 577

Download the consultation paper and draft regulatory guide.