AFCA receives 500 super complaints in first month

Australia's superannuation industry copped more than 500 complaints to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority in the body's first month of operation.

AFCA busily began its life last month, with more than 6000 complaints lodged in its first 30 days, and after taking responsibility for complaints in the financial services industry from November 1.

AFCA received 6522 complaints in the first 30 days of operation, with about 310 made each business day in November, representing a 47% increase in complaints received when compared to its predecessors.

AFCA said 8% of the complaints it received so far were to do with superannuation, while credit and general insurance topped the list, contributing to 45% and 21% of complaints each.

But according to the authority's chief executive and chief ombudsman David Locke, the new kid on the block's tough first month met expectations.

"This number of calls and complaints is on par with what we were expecting," Locke said.

"We want to make sure that members of the public know where to go for help when they have a financial complaint they can't resolve directly with their financial firm."

So far, the authority has resolved 15% of November complaints, with less than 6% of its licensees copping complaints in November. Of those who were complained about, banks led the way with 2367 complaints, closely followed by general insurers (1159) and credit providers (1040).

Recently profiled in Financial Standard, the authority's chair Helen Coonan said her goal with AFCA was to establish a "real game changer" in financial services.

"One that provides not only a one-stop shop but a fair, efficient and timely dispute resolution [service] that will be known for fairness being at the heart of everything that we do," she said.

Read more: AFCA-Australian Financial Complaints AuthorityDavid LockeFinancial StandardHelen Coonan
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