Financial services external dispute resolution review

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer MP has released terms of reference for an independent review into the financial system’s external dispute resolution and complaints framework.

The review will examine the roles of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and the Credit & Investments Ombudsman and their effectiveness in resolving disputes.

The review may make observations, but not recommendations, on the establishment of a statutory compensation scheme of last resort.

The review will have regard to efficiency, equity, complexity, transparency, accountability, comparability of outcomes and regulatory costs.

The review will make recommendations on:

  • the role, powers, governance and funding arrangements of the dispute resolution and complaints framework in providing effective complaints handling processes for users, including linkages with internal dispute resolution;
  • the extent of gaps and overlaps between each of the bodies (including consideration of legislative limits on the matters each body can consider) and their impacts on the effectiveness, utility and comparability of outcomes for users;
  • the role of the bodies in working with government, regulators, consumers, industry and other stakeholders to improve the legal and regulatory framework to deliver better outcomes for users; and
  • the relative merits, and any issues that would need to be considered (including implementation considerations), of different models in providing effective avenues for resolving disputes.

The review will take into consideration and consult with ASIC on the concurrent review of the FOS’s small business jurisdiction.

The panel of 3 experts will report to Government by the end of March 2017.

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