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AFCA appoints lead ombudsman for investments and advice

4 minute read

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has announced a new appointment.

Shail Singh has been named as the new lead ombudsman for investments and advice at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Mr Singh had served as acting lead ombudsman since January last year when his predecessor, Natalie Cameron, moved into the new role of lead ombudsman for banking and finance.

AFCA confirmed Mr Singh’s appointment to the lead ombudsman role in a statement on Tuesday, which was said to have followed a competitive selection process.


“Shail brings deep and diverse experience to this role, having worked in dispute resolution for over a decade and having been a financial planner himself,” said AFCA’s deputy chief ombudsman June Smith.

“He is a respected specialist in investments and advice complaints, in areas such as financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency, and stockbroking. Shail has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders, among other things, initiating a financial advice liaison group and a cryptocurrency liaison group.”

Mr Singh is a lawyer by profession and has previously worked as an in-house legal counsel and for regulators including WorkSafe Victoria and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria.

He then trained and worked as a financial planner before becoming a case manager with the Financial Ombudsman Scheme — a predecessor to AFCA — back in 2010.

When AFCA officially opened in November 2018, he was appointed as an ombudsman, and in 2021, he became senior ombudsman for investments and advice.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Singh said that he was extremely excited to take on the role.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my work with firms to prevent disputes, and to being involved in improving our systems and processes to deliver an even better dispute resolution service that is transparent, timely, efficient and above all, fair,” he said.

AFCA noted that its five lead ombudsmen are responsible for its approach to decision making in their respective areas and collectively lead teams with a total of more than 100 ombudsmen and adjudication panel members.

Alongside the newly appointed Mr Singh, AFCA’s other lead ombudsmen are Natalie Cameron (banking and finance), Suanne Russell (small business), Emma Curtis (insurance), and Heather Gray (superannuation).

AFCA indicated that it is on track to register approximately 100,000 complaints in the current financial year and said that it has secured $1 billion for complainants since its inception.

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.