Attention: AFCA members. ASIC must be notified!

Friday, 16 November 2018 | By Samantha Hills
Licensees who have joined AFCA but have yet to notify ASIC must do so prior to 30 November, or be prepared to face late fees.

As discussed in our recent T-REX article, AFS licensees, credit licensees, and credit representatives are now required to join the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).  AFCA aims to provide consumers and small businesses with a free and independent financial services dispute resolution scheme.  As of 6 November, more than 35,000 firms have joined AFCA (per ASIC), providing their customers with access to AFCA’s services.

Licensees must notify ASIC of their AFCA membership details by 30 November 2018.  In addition, credit licensees must also ensure that ASIC is notified of the AFCA membership for any of their credit representatives.  A failure to lodge notifications will result in the following late fees:
  • $79 for notifications made up to one month late; and
  • $329 for notifications made over one month late.

AFCA members who wish to update their details online can do so via the relevant ASIC portal:

ASIC has issued specific instructions to former members of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO):

  • Former FOS members should enter a commencement date of 1 May 2018;
  • Former CIO members should enter a commencement date that mirrors the date they received their AFCA membership certificate.

For both groups, the commencement date should be the same as the effective date.

Licensees who have not yet joined AFCA are in breach of their licenses, and should join as soon as possible. 

If you would like help with your obligations as a licensee, contact our Financial Services Team.

Authors: Samantha Hills (Senior Lawyer) and Jared Mintz (Law Clerk).

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