FOS 2013-2014 Annual Review

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published its 2013-2014 Annual Review. FOS is required by ASIC Regulatory Guide 139 to identify, resolve and report on systemic issues and to notify ASIC of cases of serious misconduct.

It has also published the 2013-2014 Comparative Tables which show disputes data about members of FOS who have had a minimum of five disputes in a particular product category.

The tables provide three types of information about each listed FSP:
1. Chance of a dispute coming to FOS / Raw number of disputes received
2. Average stage reached in the dispute resolution process
3. Outcomes of the dispute resolution process.

The review covers disputes about:

  • Credit
  • General insurance
  • Payment system
  • Deposit-taking
  • Investments
  • Life insurance
  • Traditional trustee services
  • Financial difficulty
  • Legal proceedings.

Credit disputes accounted for 50% of all accepted disputes in 2013-14, followed by general insurance disputes (27%).

The vast majority (98%) of accepted legal proceedings disputes during 2013-2014 were about credit products, with 85% of these relating to consumer credit products. Most (56%) of those related to home loans.

A smaller proportion of legal proceedings disputes related to unsecured facilities – 14% to credit cards, 8% to personal loans (some personal loans may be secured by vehicles or equipment) and 7% to business loans.

In 2013-2014, the predominant issue category in legal proceedings disputes was financial difficulty (86%). The most common issues within that category were applicant requests for an FSP to suspend enforcement proceedings (59%), followed by an FSP declining a request for financial difficulty (13%) and failure of an FSP to respond to a request for assistance (13%).

Of the legal proceedings disputes that FOS considered, a significant number were resolved between FSPs and applicants (29%), with FOS also conciliating outcomes in 12% and negotiated settlements in 8% of disputes.

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