Merger of financial industry external dispute resolution schemes announced

The Insurance
Ombudsman Service Limited Board and the Financial Industry Complaints
Service Limited Board and the Banking
and Financial Services Ombudsman Limited have announced that agreement in principle to the merger of
those three schemes had been reached.

It is intended the new scheme will provide dispute
resolution services for over 90% of all the disputes which arise in
relation to the provision of financial services in Australia. The
Service would provide a “one stop shop” for
the vast majority of consumer and small business disputes between the
community and financial services providers.

It is hoped that, subject to the regulatory and other requirements, the new scheme will be operating from 1 July 2008.

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