14 February 2018
The passage through the parliament of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority Bill (AFCA) delivers a big win for Australian bank customers by creating a ‘one stop shop’ for resolving issues in the financial services industry.
Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Bankers’ Association, said the legislation, supported from the beginning by the banking industry, would streamline the complaints process and lead to a speedier resolution of issues for customers.
“A quick resolution of any dispute between a customer and financial institution is in everyone’s best interest,” Ms Bligh said.
“It’s always the first preference for customers to resolve issues directly with their banks, who have been putting in place extra measures such as ‘customer advocates’ to improve how they handle complaints.
“When a complaint needs to go further, it’s important the process is simple, fair and results in a speedy outcome.
“Merging three complaints authorities into a ‘one stop shop’ is common sense reform and should lead to speedier resolution of issues experienced by Australian bank customers,” Ms Bligh said.
“Australian banks have supported this change from its inception as a recommendation from the Ramsay review to ensure efficient and easier access to help for customers,” she said.
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“Since the Banking Code was first introduced in 1993, the process to independently review the Code has continued to deliver improvements.”
“A number of our banks actually have maternity leave lending products that are specific to people on parental leave, paid and unpaid, to help them through, what as I said, can be a difficult time.”