AFCA will soon be allowed to name financial firms in published determinations following ASIC approval.
Following public consultation, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority requested a change to the rule to allow them to identify firms involved in all determinations.
Currently, the names of the firms involved in financial services, super and credit complaints have not been published.
However ASIC has now approved of the rule change after taking into account stakeholder feedback and the statutory approval criteria.
“ASIC’s view is that naming firms in determinations can help identify conduct or market problems within firms or affecting specific products or services, as well as highlighting where firms have done the right thing,” ASIC said in a statement.
ASIC said it would also enhance transparency and accountability of performance in complaints handling and AFCA’s own decision-making.
Already in its first six months, AFCA received 35,263 complaints with up to 5,000 to be finalised each year by way of determination, all of these could now name firms.
AFCA chief ombudsman and chief executive David Locke said the rule changes allowed AFCA to be more open and accountable to the public.
“AFCA plays an important public role, and we recognise that transparency in our data and decisions is essential to rebuilding trust in the financial sector.
“We welcome ASIC’s approval to change our rules, which will allow us to now name financial firms in decisions we publish on our website. This is an important change, and the public will now be able to access increased information about the actions of financial firms,” he said.
AFCA and ASIC are still working together to determine the start date for the change and AFCA will issue guidance that will set out examples of the circumstances in which a firm would not have its name published in a determination. This includes where naming may expose confidential information about a firm’s systems or policies.
Consumers will continue to be anonymised in all determinations.
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