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Chief Ombudsman's Message

 

This month we are celebrating five years of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Since we formed in 2008, we have resolved more than 137,000 disputes between customers and their financial services providers. The demand for our service has grown 70% over this time, due in large part to the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008, the expansion of our jurisdiction under the new national credit reforms, and the impact of the natural disasters experienced all over Australia.

This year, however, we have seen a welcome stabilisation of dispute numbers, and we’re hoping that this trend will continue.

It is fitting that in our fifth year we have undertaken a significant piece of research to better understand how our stakeholders experience FOS – our process, people, communications and other elements of our service. The research has clearly identified a number of areas where we need to focus our efforts over the coming years. We are currently reviewing the findings and updating our business plan to ensure that we have a comprehensive response to the substantive issues raised. We will be communicating more on this shortly.

In addition to the feedback we have received from the stakeholder research, there will be a further opportunity for stakeholders to comment on our service via an Independent Review of FOS that will commence in August. This is an ASIC requirement for EDR schemes such as ours. Both the stakeholder research and the independent review will provide important opportunities for us to refine and improve our service.

To keep you up to date with news from our Board, we would like to offer you the opportunity to read our Special Board Reports, which are high-level summaries of some of the key issues discussed by the Board at their quarterly meetings. If you would like to receive these reports, please email my Executive Assistant, Jenny Kinsman, at jkinsman@fos.org.au.

We are proud of what FOS has achieved over the past five years and we look forward to continuing to provide an important service in which all Australians can place their confidence and trust.

As always, if you have comments or suggestions about anything you read in the Circular, please let us know at publications@fos.org.au.

Regards,

Shane Tregillis

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