The corporate regulator has approved changes to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority rules that will allow it to handle complaints dating back to 2008.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) authorisation condition introduced by the government in February expands AFCA’s scope to financial misconduct claims from 1 January 2008.
Under the condition, AFCA will be able to deal with certain complaints about conduct of current member financial firms that the body, its predecessor schemes, courts and tribunals have previously not dealt with.
The new rules require that an eligible legacy complaint relates to a compulsory member of the AFCA scheme who is a member at the time of the complaint and that the claim is not an excluded complaint.
It must also be made during the lodgement period: 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
AFCA has also released updated operational guidelines that give further guidance on how AFCA will deal with legacy complaints.
“The new jurisdiction, which covers complaints about conduct going back to 2008, may raise novel issues about how AFCA deals with complaints,” the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) noted.
“If these issues require or necessitate material changes to the scheme, then ASIC will need to review these as part of our ongoing oversight role.”
Legislative requirements in s1052D of the Corporations Act require the complaints authority to seek ASIC approval for material changes to its scheme.
ASIC has an oversight role over AFCA, but the scheme is independent and responsible for its own internal processes and management of complaints.
The corporate regulator said it has no role in individual complaints handling under the scheme and will not intervene in AFCA’s decision-making processes.
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