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Authorised credit representative – a business that is authorised to engage in specified credit activities on behalf of a business with an Australian financial services licence or a credit licence from ASIC


Australian Credit Licence – required licence for a business to engage in consumer credit activities


Alternative dispute resolution – ways of resolving disputes that do not involve going to court, such as conciliation and negotiation


Australian Prudential Regulation Authority


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Authorised representative

A business that is authorised to engage in specified activities on behalf of a business with an Australian financial services licence or a licence from ASIC


A consumer who receives an amount of money from a lender and is obligated to repay it

Closed dispute

a dispute is closed once our handling of it is complete – this can be achieved through an agreement between the parties involved, through a decision by FOS, or because the dispute is discontinued or outside our Terms of Reference


An industry code of practice


An individual or small business owner who uses the services of a financial services provider

credit contract

A credit facility provided to an individual or small business which may include a consumer credit contract

Credit facilities table

A summary of all of an applicant’s credit facilities provided by their financial services provider

Document exchange portal

A system for transferring documents between the applicant, FOS and the FSP securely online


external dispute resolution – dispute resolution managed by an independent third party (the Financial Ombudsman Service is an EDR service)


Electronic Statement of Financial Position / Statement of Financial Position

Fast Track process

An accelerated dispute resolution process for straightforward and low-value disputes.

Financial difficulty

A consumer (individual or small business owner) may experience financial difficulty if they are unexpectedly unable to meet the repayment obligations on a credit contract


The Financial Ombudsman Service


A software system FOS uses to track and manage information relevant to disputes


Financial services provider


Financial Services Reform Act


Global financial crisis


Internal dispute resolution – every member should have IDR processes in place to handle disputes they receive about their business


A financial services provider that is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service


A business accepting payment for the supply of goods or services to consumers


An encumbrance on land or property owned by a borrower to secure a loan from an FSP


National Credit Code (part of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009)


The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Someone who investigates disputes between aggrieved parties (e.g. consumers and small businesses) and organisations (e.g. financial services providers) and mediates a fair settlement or makes a final decision on the matter


The way in which a dispute has been resolved or finalised

outcome type

The result or consequences of the resolution or finalisation of a dispute


A specific type of product within a product category (e.g. shares are a product within the securities product category)

product category

A group of products within a particular product line (e.g. securities are a product category within the investments product line)

product line

A broad line of products (e.g. investments)

registered dispute

A dispute that has entered the Registration stage of our dispute resolution process (compare to accepted dispute)

RG 139

ASIC Regulatory Guideline 139 – this document sets out the requirements of how an organisation like the Financial Ombudsman Service can become an ASIC-approved EDR scheme and how they have to operate and report to maintain that approval

sales/service channel

The channel a consumer used to purchase or get advice about the product in dispute

Secure Services

The password-protected online member portal FOS provides for members


Statement of Financial Position / Electronic Statement of Financial Position

Statement of Claim

A Statement of Claim is an official document completed by someone who believes they’re owed money


Terms of Reference – the document setting out the broad rules and processes that the Financial Ombudsman Service follows


Uniform Consumer Credit Code (replaced by The National Credit Code)