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Issue 21 - April 2015

Chief Ombudsman's Message

Welcome to the autumn edition of The FOS Circular for 2015. The last couple of months have been a particularly busy time for FOS. Last resort compensation scheme - the missing element in current reforms I am pleased that the issue of a last resort compensation scheme has been r...READ MORE


The FOS Approach

The FOS Approach to Adequacy of Statements of Advice

We handle many financial advice disputes in which a retail client says they did not understand the advice they received from the financial service provider (FSP). In these disputes, the quality and clarity of the information in the Statement of Advice (SOA) is a critical issue....READ MORE

FOS Approach to Statements of Advice
The FOS Approach to Section 47

Sickness and disability insurance policies commonly contain an exclusion for claims resulting from a condition that the consumer had before the contract of insurance was entered into (a ‘pre-existing condition’). Section 47 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (the Act) limits t...READ MORE

FOS Approach to Section 47

FOS Forum

Key Determination

An elderly woman (the borrower) went to a branch with her grandson to obtain a reverse mortgage. She obtained no benefit from the loan funds as the proceeds were paid away to the grandson. The borrower passed away two years later and the grandson’s Aunt, who was the executrix o...READ MORE

Key Determinations

Dispute Process Reform

Fast, efficient, fair dispute resolution

Over the last 18 months, we have been consulting with FOS’s stakeholders about helping us improve the way we resolve disputes. Since then, we have made significant changes to streamline, simplify and improve the quality of FOS’s dispute processes. In addition to reaching our go...READ MORE

A drawn color logo featuring a lighthouse with beacon.

FOS News

Upcoming events

We organise or attend hundreds of events every year. Over the next few months we will be in Sydney and Melbourne running various sessions for our members, along with webinars for our ILIS and Banking & Finance members Please visit our online events calendar regularly, where you...READ MORE

Annual Assessment

Annual Assessment We would like to thank all FSP members who have submitted their annual business assessment forms. The deadline for submission has now expired and if you have not submitted your information, you may incur additional fees. If you wish to avoid incurring addition...READ MORE

Annual Assessment
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015

FOS recently made a submission to the exposure draft of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015 (the Bill). FOS welcomes the initiative to assist and support small businesses and believes it will make a valuable contribution through its advocacy ...READ MORE

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015
An update from the Code Compliance and Monitoring Team

Some voluntary codes of practice that operate within the Australian financial services industry complement existing legislation by outlining how financial service providers should behave in their dealings with customers who are experiencing financial difficulty. A recent inquir...READ MORE

An update from the Code team.
Under the spotlight: John Price

As John Price drove around flood-ravaged areas of Queensland and Victoria in 2012, stopping at the houses and properties of more than 1,500 people suffering at the hand of nature, he learned a great deal about humility, humanity and the insurance industry. As Lead Ombudsman, Ge...READ MORE

John Price.
Postcard from... Adelaide

Christine Raymond has been a financial counsellor with Uniting Communities for over seven years. Based at Christies Beach, approximately 30 minutes south of Adelaide, she works three days a week as a general financial counsellor, and one day a week at the Consumer Credit Law Ce...READ MORE

Postcard from Adelaide - Christine Raymond
Unpaid determinations update

Despite our best efforts, some consumers do not receive compensation from financial services providers (FSPs) following awards being made in our determinations. This article provides an update on the number of unpaid determinations for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 March 2015...READ MORE

Unpaid Determinations

Systemic Issues

Systemic Issues update

This article summarises the new systemic issues that we identified during the March quarter of 2015 and reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It also provides an update on some current and recently resolved systemic issue investigations, a sum...READ MORE

Systemic Issues update

Case Studies

Case Studies

This is a collection of case studies that have appeared elsewhere in this edition of The Circular. It includes the case studies from the two FOS Approach documents in this edition – covering section 47 of the Insurance Contracts Act, and Statements of Advice. You can read more ...READ MORE

Case Studies


Statistics report

We received 8,341 complaints and disputes between January and March 2015. Compared with last quarter, this is a 7% increase and compared with same quarter last year, it is a 4% increase. The increase from last quarter is attributed to credit (up 4%), general insurance (up 7%) a...READ MORE

Circular 19 - statistics image.