FOS Chief Ombudsman, Mr Tregillis, today welcomed ASIC’s announcement that it would develop guidance on general customer review and remediation programs in the financial advice industry.
Mr Tregillis said FOS is pleased that ASIC will establish industry-wide principles and operating guidelines for the implementation of major remediation programs by financial firms.
FOS set out in its recent Financial Sector Inquiry Submission the importance of taking an industry-wide approach to this issue, and outlined the principles that it considered should apply to the design of any general customer review and remediation program.
“It is important that when things go wrong, consumers can be confident they can get access to effective, independent review and redress. This is essential for consumer trust and confidence in financial services. This applies both to individual disputes and to circumstances where a broader review and remediation of a larger number of disputes is required,” Mr Tregillis said.
“FOS considers it is important that the ASIC guidance builds on the existing ASIC approach for internal and external dispute resolution, and takes into account and leverages FOS’s well-established role as an ASIC approved independent external dispute resolution body,” Mr Tregillis said.
“FOS is ready to work closely with firms to agree relevant documentation, timelines and the specific arrangements for streamlined review and independent decision making by FOS as part of any general review and remediation program. When considering implementing any such review and remediation program, we encourage firms to get in contact with FOS as early as possible to discuss,” Mr Tregillis said.
“FOS welcomes the commitment of ASIC to consult with stakeholders including consumer groups, external dispute resolution (ombudsman) schemes, compliance advisers and industry participants and is looking forward to working with all parties to help develop appropriate guidance for general customer review and remediation programs by firms”.
Veronica McGowan (03) 9613 7307 firstname.lastname@example.org