The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia welcomes the interim report into the review of the financial system’s external dispute resolution (EDR) and complaints framework (the Ramsay Review).
“We welcome the interim report and support its proposals designed to strengthen current arrangements based on fairness, openness, simplicity and adaptability as core features of future arrangements for dispute resolution in the financial sector,” said FOS Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis. In particular, the draft recommendations will reduce complexity for consumers in accessing timely, low-cost and efficient EDR for all financial sector disputes, he said.
“Our submission to the Panel made five main recommendations. These included consolidation of the existing schemes, the expansion of FOS’s small business jurisdiction and a review of monetary limits for the general consumer division. We also called for an enhancement in some powers, along with a compensation scheme of last resort to deal with unpaid determinations.
“We are pleased that the Panel considers that there is merit in an industry-funded compensation scheme of last resort and that we will have an opportunity to provide further input into how this might work, prior to the release of the Ramsay Review’s final report. We are currently working with the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) and consumer and industry stakeholders to examine in detail the design features needed for the implementation of such a scheme,” he added.
FOS currently accounts for 88 per cent of disputes received by the two EDR schemes (FOS and the CIO) in the financial sector.
“We support the evidence-based approach taken by the Ramsay Review and look forward to working with the Panel as it consults with consumer and industry stakeholders about the findings and draft recommendations in the interim report,” Mr Tregillis said.
Virginia Wallace, 03 9613 7470 firstname.lastname@example.org