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Member FAQs

This section provides answers to common member questions. If you would like more information or have other questions, please contact us on 1300 56 55 62 or [email protected].

General
  • Do members have the opportunity to comment on the way FOS operates?

  • All members have a vote in company annual general meetings. We also encourage and value member input on matters such as changes to our Terms of Reference, submissions to our Independent Reviews, and feedback on our approach to disputes.

Membership
  • What does it cost to become a member?

  • Membership costs differ depending on what type of membership you need.

    For licensee members, costs include a one-time application fee and an annual base levy, plus additional dispute-handling fees (if required). Read more information on licensee member costs.

    For Authorised Credit Representative (ACR) members, costs include a one-time application fee and an annual membership fee.  Read more information on ACR member costs.

  • How long does it take to process my membership application?

  • We aim to process membership applications within five to seven business days. We will then send you an email to confirm your membership and let you know your membership number.

  • How do I obtain a copy of my membership certificate?

  • Members can download and print their membership certificate through Secure Services.

  • How can I update my contact details?

  • Members can update their contact details through Secure Services.

  • How do I withdraw my membership?

  • Members can ask to cancel their membership by completing the online cancellation form on Secure Services.

  • How can I process a name change for my membership?

  • You’ll need to send an email to the FOS Membership Team at [email protected]. Please attach an ASIC Name Change Certificate so we can verify the change.

Secure Services (Online Member Portal)
  • What are Secure Services?

  • Secure Services on our website can only be accessed with a username and password. Examples of these services include dispute case management and administration tools for Members.

  • What is my user ID?

  • Your user ID is your membership number, which was provided to you when you become a participating financial services provider or authorised credit representative. You will find it on your membership certificate and on most correspondence from us. If you can’t find your membership number, please contact us on 1300 56 55 62 or [email protected].

  • Do I log in as me or as my company?

  • Each representative within the member’s company will need their own unique log in. Need help logging in? Watch the video provided on the How to access Secure Services page.

  • How do I determine what my password is?

  • We send new members information on how to register for Secure Services. As part of the registration process members can create their login password. We do not have access to a member's password. If members have forgotten their password and are unable to retrieve it, they are advised to call or email FOS to have their password reset.

  • What happens if I forget my password?

  • You can use the ‘Retrieve Password’ link on the login page. If you still have trouble, please contact us on 1300 56 55 62 or [email protected] and we will reset your password.

  • I tried to register for Secure Services but I got a message saying I’m already registered.

  • Members can only register once. If you’ve forgotten your password, please use the ‘Retrieve Password’ link or contact us to reset your password. If you try to register and see a message saying your account is not yet approved, please contact us on 1300 56 55 62 or [email protected] and we will approve the account straight away.

  • Who in my organisation can use Secure Services?

  • Anyone who is listed in our membership database as a contact for your organisation can register to use Secure Services, whether you are a participating financial services provider or an authorised credit representative. The services available to you will depend on your contact type.

  • What Secure Services are available?

  • The following Secure Services are available (hover over the service for more information):

- Case management*
- Dispute activity dashboard*
-  Dispute reports*
- Search for cases*
- Systemic issues reports*
- Manage your contact details
- Download your membership certificate
- View and pay invoices
- Complete your annual assessment*

*Services not applicable to authorised credit representatives

  • What are the benefits of Secure Services?

  • Secure Services streamline and enhance communication between FOS and our stakeholders. For example, the Secure Services available to members:
    - enable you to administer your membership easily and painlessly
    - provide powerful tools for analysing the disputes you have been involved in
    - serve as a secure repository of up-to-date disputes data, contact details and invoices
    - reduce the volume of letters and emails passing between us

  • What are contact types?

  • To help us communicate effectively with participating financial services providers we ask for a list of contact names, one for each contact type set out in the table below. Some of you give us one name to contact for all matters. Others prefer to assign one or more contact types to different people. Make sure you know your contact type(s) before registering for a Secure Services login. Note: Contact types do not have to correspond with job titles used in your organisation. You can assign any person to any contact type so long as that person is aware of the responsibilities to us the contact type carries with it.

    SS Contact Types Table

  • Which contact type do I select when registering for a Secure Services login?

  • Every contact type has a security rating as shown in the table above. If you hold two or more contact types for your business, use the one with the highest security rating to register for your Secure Services login. If your highest rating contact types are both Finance and EDR Manager choose EDR Manager. If your highest rating contact types are all in category three, it does not matter which one you use to register.

  • What is my contact type?

  • We rely on participating financial services providers managing their own contact details using the secure service provided for this purpose. If you have not yet registered for a login to access this service and you cannot register because you have forgotten your contact type, email [email protected]. Note: For security we do not provide contact types over the phone.

  • What is my membership number?

  • Your membership number is provided to you when you become a participating financial services provider or authorised credit representative. You will find it on your membership certificate and on most correspondence from us.

  • What is an approver?

  • Every participating financial services provider has at least one approver. Approvers are responsible for managing who in their business can access the Secure Services provided on our website.

  • How does the approval process work when I register for a Secure Services login?

  • When you register for a Secure Services login an email will go to your approver with a link to an account activation page on our website. Your approver must activate your account for your login to work. You will receive an email inviting you to login as soon as your account has been activated.

    SS Approver Table

  • What is a security key?

  • If your contact type is MD/CEO/Company Secretary you will need to enter a security key when you register for your Secure Services login. Your security key is a special code which we have either emailed to you already or you can request by emailing [email protected]. Note: For security we do not provide security keys over the phone.

  • Why is my name not recognised?

  • You must be on our contacts database to register for a Secure Services login. If you are unsure about your contact status please see your approver. Using the secure service provided for this purpose, your approver can check that your name is correctly recorded on our database. Note: The name you use to register must match exactly that on the database. If you are an approver and cannot register for a Secure Services login because your name is not recognised please email [email protected]. Note: For security we do not handle requests to add or remove contacts over the phone.

Fees and charges, annual assessment, invoicing
  • How are FOS fees and charges calculated?

  • Secure Services provides information on fees and charges through the Case Fee Guide, User Charge Guide and Funding Model Guide on the ‘invoices’ section of the site. Please email [email protected] if you need more information.

  • How can I find my invoices?

  • Please log into Secure Services and click on 'Invoices'.

  • How do I pay an invoice?

  • Invoices can be paid by credit card through Secure Services. If you’d rather pay by cheque, EFT or Bpay, you’ll find relevant payment details on the invoice.

  • How do I complete an annual assessment?

  • Please log into Secure Services and click on 'Annual Assessment'.

  • I’m trying to access my company’s annual assessment but I can’t get in to look at it.

  • The assessment can only be seen by the member’s CEO contact, EDR Manager contact and Finance contact. You need to be logged in as one of those people to be able to see your company’s annual assessment.

  • Can I see the information I provided for last year’s annual assessment?

  • In Secure Services, go to the ‘Annual Assessment’ section – you’ll see last year’s details are pre-populated in the form.

  • How can I change the assessment data I provided?

  • Once the data is submitted, you are unable to amend it. If you made a mistake, please contact us on 1300 56 55 62 or [email protected]

  • Why is this year's levy different to last year's levy?

  • The levy amount is calculated on the basis of the assessment data you provide. This means it can vary from year to year.

Dispute resolution process

Find the answers to more FAQs about FOS's process by viewing the recent webinar.

  • How does FOS work out if it can deal with specific disputes – ie, whether a dispute is within its jurisdiction?

  • The FOS Terms of Reference set out the types of disputes we can consider. They were developed through extensive stakeholder consultation and have been approved by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). You can read our Terms of Reference or learn more about them through our eLearning module.
    The Operational Guidelines to the Terms of Reference give more detail about how we apply these rules.

  • Can I take enforcement action or any further steps in current legal proceedings against a consumer if they have lodged a dispute with FOS?

  • No. As a member, you are bound by the FOS Terms of Reference, which prohibit a financial services provider from:


    •    Commencing legal proceedings against the consumer relating to any aspect of the lodged dispute
    •    Pursuing legal proceedings relating to debt recovery instituted prior to the consumer lodging the dispute with FOS, provided that the consumer has not taken a step beyond lodging a defence or a defence and counter claim. Attending a directions hearing is not considered to be a step for the purposes of the Terms of Reference
    •    Taking any action to recover a debt the subject of the dispute, protect any assets securing that debt, or to assigning any right to recover that debt while FOS is dealing with the dispute.

    An exception to these prohibitions is where we agree in writing to a financial services provider taking legal proceedings or enforcement action. This will only occur in limited circumstances, such as where it necessary to preserve property the subject of a dispute or where a limitation period is about to expire.

    For more information please click here.

  • What is the process FOS follows when managing disputes?

  • We encourage financial services providers to resolve consumer dispute directly, using their own internal dispute resolution processes. If this can’t be achieved, then we follow the process outlined in this diagram.

  • When a consumer lodges a dispute  with FOS about me, what information do I need to provide?

  • The best approach is for members to be thorough in what they provide. This means providing all relevant contracts, account statements, policy documents, diary notes and dates, reports, emails, analysis, expert opinions, plans, notes, statements from staff (if applicable) and other documents.

  • I’ve had a dispute lodged about me and I’ve provided you with all the information I have. What happens next?

  • At this stage we will:

    •    tell you and the consumer about our process and the next steps we plan to take
    •    give you and the consumer an opportunity to present your views to us
    •    give appropriate opportunities for you and the consumer to provide further information and documentation to support your case.

  • Can members ask for an extension to resolve a dispute?

  • Both members and consumers can ask us for extensions of time in which to respond to the dispute if there are special circumstances that prevent them from responding within our requested timeframes. However, in the interests of faster dispute resolution, we grant extensions as the exception rather than the rule.

  • When will a decision be made by an Ombudsman and when will it be made by a Panel?

  • If a dispute cannot be resolved during the earlier stages of our process and requires a formal written Determination, we will decide whether a single Ombudsman or a Panel will determine the dispute. When we decide this we will take several factors into account , including the type and complexity of the dispute and the sort of expertise required to consider the issues.

  • What do I do if FOS issues a Determination that requires me to take some action?

  • If the consumer formally accepts the Determination within 30 days of receiving it,  it is the member’s responsibility to take the actions stipulated in the Determination.

  • How can I find out how FOS has resolved similar disputes?

  • If we can’t resolve a dispute through negotiation or conciliation, we may make a written decision. All of our decisions are based on what is fair in all the circumstances, taking into account the law, any applicable industry codes of practice, and good industry practice. You can read past Determinations by searching our decisions database. Click here to search for Determinations.
    We have also created a series of documents that explain how we reach decisions about key issues. Click here to read more about how we approach some common issues and dispute types.
    You can also read case studies that we’ve put together based on actual disputes we have considered, by clicking here.