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Issue 29 - April 2017

Chief Ombudsman's Message


Welcome to the autumn edition of The FOS Circular for 2017.

Since the last edition, our further submission to the Ramsay Review was published. You can read this on our website. Our submission provided detailed analysis that shows current claims limits and compensation caps for consumers and small business are outdated and need to be significantly increased. We also recommended that there no longer be a distinction between claims limits and compensation caps, in order to reduce complexity for consumers and financial services providers alike. We also welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, to extend the Ramsay Review’s Terms of Reference to include firm recommendations on the establishment and potential design of a compensation scheme of last resort.

Our member events are continuing in various locations around the country and we very much look forward to meeting you at one of them.

In the last edition of The FOS Circular we discussed the engagement work we are doing with FSPs around family violence. We are now planning to commence stage two (a survey of a broader cross-section of members) in May, pushed back from March. We delayed the survey as we know many of our members are currently stretched in resources due to Cyclone Debbie.

This edition also features updates on unpaid FOS determinations, systemic issues and Code Compliance and Monitoring, plus a spotlight on some of our Adjudicators.

We also share some of the ways in which we ensure FOS staff have access to an integrated employee support framework, as part of our commitment to supporting our dispute handlers by providing information, resources and internal programmes that enable them to build their resilience and understanding of the situations they work with.

FOS received 10,143 disputes in the January to March 2017 quarter. This is a 6% decrease compared with last quarter and an 18% increase compared with the March quarter last year.  We saw this increase across all product lines. This quarter, we accepted 5,491 disputes. This is a 1% decrease compared with last quarter and an 11% increase compared with the same quarter last year.

We closed 9,904 disputes this quarter. This is a 2% increase compared with last quarter and a 29% increase compared with the same quarter last year. This is the highest number of disputes closed in a quarter in the past three years. For more detail, read our latest statistics report.

If you have comments or suggestions about anything you read in The FOS Circular, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please let us know at

Shane Tregillis
Chief Ombudsman