AFCA to expand SMSF members’ ability to resolve grievances

The SMSF Association strongly supports the setting up the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as a significant step in protecting the rights of all SMSF members.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says the passage of the legislation establishing AFCA, announced today by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, and the Minister for Small and Family Business, Craig Laundy, will give SMSFs access to a dispute-settling mechanism that will enhance their ability to deal with large institutions.

The new streamlined dispute resolution body has amalgamated the functions of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Insurance Ombudsman and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, simplifying the existing avenues of redress for financial services consumers.

Maroney says: “This is an important reform for the SMSF sector. Giving SMSF members the ability to be able to have their grievances with a large institution dealt with by AFCA and avoid lengthy and costly legal proceedings is to be commended.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that SMSF members often do not pursue their complaints with banks, insurers and super funds because of the potential legal costs and complexity.

“But the establishment of AFCA as a one-stop shop now gives them an avenue to address their complaints in a way that is binding and without the cost and trauma that can occur in the court system.”

The Government has increased access to redress by allowing any business with fewer than 100 staff access to AFCA, as well as lifting the caps on income stream insurance product disputes and uninsured third-party motor vehicle claims.