The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), the new independent external dispute resolution scheme, has issued guidance and reminded members that they need to ensure their customers are aware that they can bring a complaint to AFCA in accordance with the updated ASIC Regulatory Guide 165, which also sets out transitional arrangements for disclosure of AFCA contact details in final response letters:
- From 21 September 2018, AFCA members must ensure that IDR final response letters and ‘delay letters’ (see RG 165.92) issued on or after 21 September 2018 and before 1 November 2018 include references to both FOS (which will be able to receive complaints only up until 31 October 2018) and AFCA (which will be able to receive complaints on and after 1 November 2018).
- Between 1 November 2018 and 1 February 2019, such letters may continue to include references to both FOS and AFCA, provided it is clear that only AFCA can receive complaints after 1 November 2018.
- On or after 1 February 2019, such letters must include references to AFCA but not the predecessor EDR schemes.
- By 1 July 2019, members must also include AFCA’s contact details in their Financial Services Guide and in other relevant disclosure documentation.
Members may use the AFCA name, contact details, and logo (logo available from 1 November 2018) solely for the purposes of advising customers of their right to contact AFCA.
Any communications advising customers about AFCA should include the new free call number 1800 931 678.