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Our dispute resolution process

There are five steps involved in resolving a dispute. Some disputes take longer to resolve than others.

Step 1: Contact your financial services provider

As a first step, you should contact your financial services provider's consumer complaints area to discuss your issue, tell them what your concerns are and how you would like them to be resolved. You can do this over the phone, through email, or by sending a letter. In our experience, this is often the quickest way to resolve a dispute.

If you make the complaint in writing, you might like to look at the sample complaint letters that are available on the consumer website of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Step 2: Lodge a dispute with us

If contacting the financial services provider has not resolved the dispute, you can lodge a dispute with us.

After the dispute is lodged with us, we will contact your financial services provider and ask it to respond to you and to us. The amount of time the financial services provider has to respond depends on how long ago you contacted your financial services provider about the problem directly.

If you only recently contacted your financial services provider about the problem, it will have up to 45 days to respond. If you have already received a written response from your financial services provider outlining its position, it will have 21 days to respond after the dispute is lodged with us.

Step 3: Our review of the dispute begins

If your dispute remains unresolved after the financial services provider has had the opportunity to resolve the dispute with you directly, we will begin reviewing the dispute. The first thing we will consider is whether the dispute falls within our jurisdiction.

There are some things that we cannot deal with as these fall outside our jurisdiction. To find out more information about what we can and cannot deal with click here.

Step 4: How your dispute will be handled

We work with you and the financial services provider to try and resolve your dispute. We act independently by not taking sides. We aim to get a fair outcome for both parties to a dispute. We communicate with both parties by phone, email and letters.

Step 5: How your dispute will be resolved

Our dispute resolution methods may involve negotiation, conciliation, or reaching a decision. It is important that all information relating to your dispute is provided to assist in a timely resolution.

More information
More detailed information about our process
Guidance on what information to provide when lodging a dispute