Australia’s Financial Ombudsman Service receives record number of disputes in 2017/18

Maria Nikolova

FOS received 43,684 disputes in 2017-18, up 11% from last year.

Australia’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received a record number of disputes in 2017-18, according to its Annual Review.

FOS received 43,684 disputes in 2017-18. This marks an 11% increase from last year, following a 16% increase from 2015-16.

The increase in 2017-18 reflects growing dispute numbers in all categories, especially later in the year. The unprecedented dispute numbers may be explained by increased awareness of FOS due to its community outreach activities over several years, attention on the sector brought about by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and public debate about the future of external dispute resolution.

FOS accepted 22,962 disputes into Case Management in 2017-18, up 2% from the preceding year.

Across all these disputes, the main products in dispute were credit cards (15% of all disputes), home loans (10%) and motor vehicle – comprehensive insurance (10%). The main issues were denial of claim (8%), claim amount (7%) and failure to follow instructions/agreement (7%). Of all these disputes, banks were involved in 43%, general insurers 28% and credit providers 9%.

A key focus again has been on systemic issues. FOS identified and referred 306 possible systemic issues to financial firms for response and resolved 91 definite systemic issues. More than 295,000 customers were estimated to have been affected by the systemic issues we investigated.

This Annual Review is the last one for FOS. From November 1, 2018, a single financial services dispute resolution scheme, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), will begin receiving disputes. AFCA replaces FOS, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

Let’s recall that Australian financial services providers that work with retail clients have until September 21, 2018, to become members of AFCA. The membership is mandatory.

Last week, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it had approved AFCA’s Complaint Resolution Scheme Rules and the Terms of Reference of the AFCA Independent Assessor (IA).

Read this next

Digital Assets

BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with almost $10 trillion in AUM, is set to launch a new metaverse ETF to help investors securely monetize on the booming immersive version of the internet.

Digital Assets

Binance wins license in New Zealand as rival Huobi shutters derivatives

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by traded volume, has obtained licenses to operate in New Zealand, even after rival Huobi shutdown derivatives trading last month due to concerns about regulations.

Retail FX

Hong Kong busts perpetrators of ‘ramp and dump’ scam

Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has charged thirteen suspects of market manipulation in a joint operation with the local police.

Institutional FX

TradingView integrates market data from German Tradegate exchange

TradingView announced that it ‎has increased data coverage to allow its users to receive information from ‎and get free access to the intra-day and tick data from Tradegate Exchange.

Retail FX

Spotware Systems introduces Custom Push Notifications for cTrader mobile apps

Spotware Systems, a technology provider for the electronic trading industry, is introducing a new push notification feature to alert mobile users of price swings and market fluctuations through their cTrader app.

Market News

The Week Ahead: 30 September from David Madden, Market Analyst at Equiti Group

Sterling dominated the headlines last week, as there were concerns the UK government might struggle to service its debt.

Inside View

How does the quality of signal providers affect your business?

A must-have onboarding process for brokers with investment services like PAMM, MAM, or copy trading


DBS deploys Nasdaq Trade Surveillance

“The confidence that markets and our clients have in DBS as a safe and trusted banking group is anchored on our ability to detect and respond to anomalous activity, which in turn calls for a robust surveillance and prevention infrastructure.”

Industry News

SEC charges Justin Costello and David Ferraro for securities fraud and posing as billionaire veteran

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Cannabis executive Justin Costello and David Ferraro, an associate of Costello’s, for promoting the stock of several microcap companies on social media without disclosing their own simultaneous stock sales as market prices rose.