The Financial Ombudsman Service designated the Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie financial planning remediation plans as Significant Events under FOS’s Significant Event Strategy when the respective remedial programs were announced.
This means that any consumers whose disputes have not been resolved to their satisfaction after going through CBA and Macquarie special reviews (or their internal dispute resolution processes) may bring them to FOS. These disputes will now be dealt with under the Financial Ombudsman’s Significant Event response plan.
The Significant Event response plan is activated for events that can potentially result in significant numbers of related disputes coming to the Financial Ombudsman Service. It provides for early communication with relevant stakeholders and a streamlined, expedited process for the resolution of related disputes. Details of FOS’s Significant Event Strategy were set out in the FOS Circular Issue 14 - Winter 2013.
Disputes relating to the Macquarie Bank’s financial adviser network, Macquarie Private Wealth, since 2004, and disputes concerning the CBA Open Advice Review Program about advice provided by Commonwealth Financial Planning or Financial Wisdom between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012, along with remediation plans have been classified by FOS as Significant Events.
In accordance with FOS’s Significant Event Strategy, FOS has been in contact with the two Banks to obtain their cooperation in providing early information on the likely flow of disputes to FOS and the documentation FOS will need to ensure any disputes received can move quickly and directly to a FOS decision.
Each dispute will be reviewed and decided by FOS based on what is fair in all the circumstances in accordance with the FOS Terms of Reference and consistent with FOS’s approach to similar disputes we have resolved.
FOS enacted the Significant Event response plan for several events including:
- Banksia Securities (February 2013)
- Gippsland Secured Investments (July 2013)
- New South Wales bushfires (October 2013)
- Perth Hills bushfires (October 2013)
- Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita (April 2014)
FOS circular on Significant Events
Veronica McGowan, Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Manager: (03) 96137307 or 0415280917