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Issue 20 - January 2015

Chief Ombudsman's Message

Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of The FOS Circular for 2015. I am very pleased to start the new year at FOS having eliminated the dispute backlog queues in case management across our General Resolution and Specialist Registration Groups as at 31 December 2014. ...READ MORE

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The FOS Approach

The FOS Approach to terms of settlement

It is important when finalising a dispute at FOS that the terms of settlement are a clear and accurate record of the agreement between the applicant and the financial service provider (FSP). Otherwise, the resolved dispute could be jeopardised by later, further disputes about t...READ MORE

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The FOS Approach to motor vehicle insurance claim delays

FOS considers a fair and prompt resolution of an insurance claim to be part of the financial service provider (FSP)’s wider obligation to act with utmost good faith towards the policyholder. In determining a dispute, FOS will look at: whether the FSP acted fairly and promptly t...READ MORE

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FOS Forum

Key Determinations

In November 2014, FOS issued three determinations regarding a financial service provider (FSP)’s reliance on a policy exclusion relating to a driver’s failure to take reasonable precautions. The test for reasonable precautions A general exclusion for failing to take reasonable ...READ MORE

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Dispute Process Reform

Fast, efficient, fair dispute resolution

Since the last issue of The FOS Circular, we have: eliminated the dispute backlog in our case management area without compromising the quality of our dispute resolution introduced our new Terms of Reference and updated our Operational Guidelines hosted focus groups testing of t...READ MORE

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FOS News

Upcoming events

We host a number of events every year including forums, workshops and webinars to discuss decisions, provide insights and communicate our approach to disputes. This year, our events will also be a platform to update our members on FOS's Dispute Process Reform (DPR) initiative a...READ MORE

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Changes to FOS Terms of Reference and Operational Guidelines

Changes to our Terms of Reference After consulting with stakeholders, the FOS Board made a number of changes to our Terms of Reference. The changes have been approved by ASIC and came into effect on 1 January 2015. The new Terms of Reference, and previous versions of the Terms ...READ MORE

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Fee-charging representatives

Under the amended FOS Terms of Reference (TOR), paragraph 6.1(d), we can refuse to consider a dispute where an Applicant is represented by a commercial agent who may receive remuneration for their service (fee-charging representative). We can exercise this discretion if: the fe...READ MORE

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An update from the Code Compliance and Monitoring Team

The FOS Code Compliance and Monitoring Team supports four independent Committees to monitor compliance with codes of practice in the Australian financial services sector, to achieve service standards that people can trust. The 2013-14 Annual Reports of three of these Committees...READ MORE

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Under the spotlight: Michael Arnold

Michael joined FOS as an Ombudsman in Insurance, Life Insurance and Superannuation (ILIS) in July 2008, following the merger of the three earlier external dispute resolution services (Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman Limited, Financial Industry Complaints Service Limite...READ MORE

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Postcard from… regional Victoria

Sandra Blake was born and raised on a sheep, wool and beef farm in north east Victoria and trained as a financial counsellor in Melbourne. She combines her skills and training, and knowledge of local farming issues working part-time as a financial counsellor at UnitingCare Wodo...READ MORE

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Unpaid determinations update

In recent editions of The FOS Circular and submissions to public inquiries we have discussed the issue of some consumers not receiving compensation from financial services providers (FSPs) following FOS determinations. This article provides an update on the number of unpaid FOS...READ MORE

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Systemic Issues

Systemic Issues update

This article summarises the new systemic issues that we identified during the December quarter of 2014 and reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It also provides an update on some current and recently resolved systemic issue investigations, a ...READ MORE

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Case Studies

Case Studies

This is a collection of case studies relevant to topics covered in this edition of The FOS Circular. It includes the case studies from the two FOS Approach documents in this edition – covering terms of settlement, and insurance claim delays. You can read more about our approach...READ MORE

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Statistics

Statistics report

We received 7,853 disputes between October and December 2014. This was a slight decrease (3%) from the previous quarter and a 6% increase from the same quarter last year. The decrease may in part be due to the two less business days this quarter compared with last quarter. Cred...READ MORE

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