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Issue 24 - January 2016

Chief Ombudsman's Message

 

Welcome to the first edition of The FOS Circular for 2016.

We have an exciting year ahead, focusing on our Business Plan to deliver an efficient and effective dispute resolution service, enhancing our stakeholder engagement and continuing to develop FOS’s organisational capabilities and infrastructure. The accessibility of our service is a priority, and this year we will continue to enhance the way in which our members and consumers can interact with us.

FOS has a busy schedule of planned member and other engagement events in 2016. Our member forums will kick off again in March, covering all sectors including our first dedicated forums for accountants. And if you'd like to follow FOS on LinkedIn, I encourage you to do so, as we have established an organisational page to share industry insights, the latest news, and providing you with another opportunity to connect with us.

As part of our efforts to make it easier for members to interact with FOS, we have produced a number of videos which will help members to use our member Secure Services and throughout the year you can expect to see more use of animation, video and graphics to enhance our communications. Launched at the end of last year, the new Online Dispute Form has been well received, with more than 2,000 disputes lodged using the new form so far.

In this edition of The FOS Circular we have provided guidance on the appropriate usage of our logo and information on how you can access the correct version of the logo. FOS has been asked by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to distribute a letter to all credit providers that participate in the Australian credit reporting system, and we have included that letter in this edition. We have also published a FOS Approach to misleading conduct.

Our latest statistics report shows that we received 7,629 disputes between October and December 2015. This was a 9% decrease from the previous quarter and a 2% decrease from the same quarter last year. Given the significant changes we have made to our dispute process, drawing conclusions from the data remains challenging. We will need a few more quarters of dispute data to be able to do so. Also included in this edition of The FOS Circular is an update on unpaid FOS determinations and a Systemic Issues update.

If you have comments or suggestions about anything you read in The FOS Circular, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please let us know at publications@fos.org.au

Shane Tregillis
Chief Ombudsman

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