What approach has FOS taken to publishing this data?
These Comparative Tables present disputes statistics about named members of FOS. We consulted our members and other stakeholders in the first half of 2010 while we developed our approach to the publication of this data. Our members have supplied data on their businesses to help us to contextualise the disputes data. The approach we have arrived at is quite innovative and, we believe, fair, transparent and useful to both consumers and financial services providers (FSPs). Two key aspects of our approach are worth emphasising.
1. We are displaying the data in product groups
We are not providing a global picture of the disputes performance of particular members. We are publishing tables for specific product groups. We believe this is the fairest and most meaningful way of presenting the information. Some FSPs operate across many product groups, and their disputes performance may be excellent in some product groups and below par in others. These FSPs and their customers will learn a lot more from seeing the data for specific product groups than from seeing global totals that might hide variations across product groups.
2. We are relating dispute numbers to business size
We are giving the number of disputes for each FSP in a product group relative to the size of the FSP’s business in that product group. We are not giving the “raw” number of disputes brought to FOS for an FSP in a product group (unless their business size data was not available – see ‘What do the tables show?’ below). This approach ensures that fairer comparisons can be made between FSPs of different sizes. The size of an FSP’s business has been measured in terms of the number of accounts or policies the FSP held for all products in a product group at 30 June 2009.
What period is covered?
The Comparative Tables present disputes statistics from a six month period, 1 January to 30 June 2010, not the full financial year. This is in line with ASIC Regulatory Guide 139, which requires that external dispute resolution schemes like FOS publish this data from 1 January 2010 onwards.
In future Annual Reviews we will publish Comparative Tables that cover the full year. Consequently, the data in tables for future years should not be compared to the data in this year’s tables, because they will be for a different period of time.
Do all members of FOS appear in the tables?
So that the data we publish is meaningful, we have set a threshold that restricts the number of FSPs that appear in each table. In this year’s Annual Review, each Comparative Table lists the FSPs that had three or more disputes brought to FOS between 1 January and 30 June 2010 in that product group.
The vast majority of our members (around 97%) do not appear in any of this year’s Comparative Tables, because they did not have three or more disputes in any product group. You can find out whether an FSP is a member of FOS using the member search available on our website at www.fos.org.au/members.
In future Annual Reviews, when we will be working with data from 12 months, that threshold is likely to be five disputes rather than three.
What do the tables show?
The Comparative Tables give three types of information about each FSP listed:
- Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS
- Average Length in the Resolution Process
- Outcomes of the Resolution Process.
The glossary entries on these three terms explain in detail what they mean and how we calculated them.
If an FSP listed in a Comparative Table failed to send us data on the size of their business in that product group, we could not, unfortunately, calculate the “Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS” for this FSP. We have instead stated the actual Number of Disputes consumers brought to FOS about this FSP in this product group between 1 January and 30 June 2010. This means it is difficult to assess whether customers of the FSP in this product group were more or less likely to bring a dispute to FOS than the customers of the other FSPs in the table.
If there are fewer than five FSPs in a table, we do not show the “Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS” for any of the FSPs in the table. We take this approach to maintain fair comparisons as a market of five FSPs for a product group is small.
How can the tables help me?
Consumers can find out how likely other consumers were to bring a dispute to FOS about a particular product from a particular FSP, and what was the outcome of disputes that were taken to FOS.
Members can compare their disputes performance to that of other FSPs and set targets for their businesses accordingly.
Please note that:
- The numbers for the “Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS” should not be compared across tables. They should only be used within a table as they cannot meaningfully be used to rank FSPs appearing in different tables.
- The “Average Length in the Resolution Process” is not a measure of time but of progression through the five stages of the process.
How can I find what I’m looking for?
Follow these three steps to find the information you are looking for.
Below is a list of product groups and the types of products that fall within each product group. In brackets next to each product group is the business measure that has been used to quantify the size of an FSP’s business in that product group.
1. Business Finance
2. Consumer Loans
21. Travel Insurance