Outgoing Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair, Delia Rickard, has been appointed for a three-year tenure to the AFCA board, effective from 1 August 2022. Ms Rickard has held the role of deputy chair of the ACCC since June 2012.
Ms Rickard has worked several senior roles, mainly with the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and carries extensive public service experience and a passion for consumer protection. Additionally, she is an associate member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
AFCA independent chair, Professor John Pollaers OAM, commented on Ms Rickard’s “wide range of skills from a distinguished public service career in consumer policy.”
“She has a deep understanding of the current and emerging challenges facing consumers and financial firms,” Professor Pollaers said.
“We will also benefit from her insight into financial inclusion, as we seek to ensure all Australians have access to our ombuds service.”
Addressing the AFCA board and its commitments, Professor Pollaers said that the board is “made up of an independent and expert group of directors, holding extensive financial services industry and consumer experience,” that bring a broad range of knowledge while operating across “multi-dimensional and highly complex” industries.
“The Board is committed to ensuring that AFCA continues be an effective external dispute resolution scheme for financial services, with a focus on efficiency and customer service, and providing clear member and community value,” Professor Pollaers said.
He stated that Ms Rickard’s “deep knowledge” in the consumer space will further ensure that the AFCA consistently delivers against these goals in order to keep an “essential focus” on continuing consumer accessibility and inclusion.
Furthermore, Ms Rickard oversaw the development of the Moneysmart website at ASIC, and has also held positions in several ACCC committees, particularly regarding data right, enforcement and compliance, and product safety.
“She has also been a member of the ACCC’s Financial Services Competition Board, and she chaired the ACCC’s market study into the cost of insurance in Northern Australia,” Professor Pollaers noted.
Ms Rickard was also awarded the Public Service Medal in 2011 for her contributions to consumer protection and financial services, along with being awarded the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award and the inaugural winner of the Law Council of Australia’s Consumer Rights Award.
On her appointment, Ms Rickard said the AFCA plays a “vital role” in guarding consumers as well as helping the financial services sector “deliver the best possible service to its customers.”
“I look forward to contributing to an organisation with such a strong sense of purpose, one that is having a real impact for consumers and the financial services sector,” Ms Rickard concluded.