Frequently Asked Questions
What do the tables show?
The Comparative Tables present dispute statistics about financial services providers (FSPs) that are members of FOS. They give three types of information about each FSP listed:
- Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS
- Average Length in Resolution
- Outcomes of the Resolution Process.
The glossary entries on these three terms explain in detail what they mean and how we calculated them.
If an FSP listed in a Comparative Table did not send us data on the size of their business in that product group, we could not calculate the Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS for this FSP. We have instead stated the actual Number of Disputes consumers brought to FOS about this FSP in this product group between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011.
If there are fewer than five FSPs in a table, we do not show the Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS for any of the FSPs. We take this approach to maintain fair comparisons as a market of fewer than five FSPs for a product group is small.
Please note that:
- The Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS figures should not be compared across tables. They should only be used within a table as they cannot meaningfully be used to rank FSPs appearing in different tables.
- The Average Length in Resolution is not a measure of time but of progression through the five stages of the process.
What approach has FOS taken to publishing this data?
We consulted our members and other stakeholders as we developed our approach to the publication of this data. We believe the approach we have arrived at is fair, transparent and useful to both consumers and financial services providers (FSPs). Two key aspects of our approach are worth emphasising.
1. We are displaying the data in product groups
We divided all the products and services our members provide into 21 product groups. There is a Comparative Table for 20 of these product groups. In one product group, Professional Indemnity Insurance, no financial services providers met the threshold of having five or more disputes in this financial year, so there is no table for this group.
We believe that displaying the data in product groups is a fair and meaningful way of presenting it. Some FSPs operate across many product groups, and their disputes performance may be excellent in some product groups and below par in others. These FSPs and their customers will learn a lot more from seeing the data for specific product groups than from seeing global totals that might hide variations across product groups.
2. We have related dispute numbers to business size
One of the key indicators of FSP performance outlined in the tables is the Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS. With this indicator we are illustrating the number of disputes for each FSP in a product group relative to the size of the FSP’s business in that product group. This ensures that meaningful comparisons can be made between FSPs of different sizes. The size of an FSP’s business has been measured in terms of the number of accounts or policies the FSP held for all products in a product group at 30 June 2010.
How can the tables help me?
Consumers can find out how likely other consumers were to bring a dispute to FOS about a particular product from a particular FSP, and what was the outcome of disputes that were taken to FOS. The data might assist a consumer when they are deciding which financial services provider (FSP) to acquire a product from.
Financial services providers can compare their disputes performance to that of other FOS members, which will help them to set targets for their businesses and direct their resources into the right areas. This should help them to build their complaints handling systems and broader customer service programs, ultimately strengthening their relationships with their customers.
What period is covered?
The Comparative Tables present dispute statistics covering the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011. The Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS figures relate to disputes received in this period. The Average Length in Resolution figures and Outcomes of the Resolution Process figures relate to disputes resolved in this period.
How can I find what I’m looking for?
There are two ways to view the tables:
- View by product group (this is the default option). This view allows you to see and compare the disputes data for all the financial services providers (FSPs) that had five or more disputes in a product group. You can sort the list of FSPs according to each statistic, to help you make comparisons.
- Compare two FSPs. This view will show you the disputes data for the two FSPs you choose in any tables they both appear in.
Do all members of FOS appear in the tables?
No. The vast majority of our members do not appear in any of this year’s Comparative Tables. So that the data we publish is meaningful, we have set a threshold that restricts the number of financial services providers (FSPs) that appear in each table. Each table lists the FSPs that had five or more disputes brought to FOS between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 in that product group.
You can find out whether an FSP is a member of FOS using the member search available on our website here.
Where did the business size data come from?
The Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS figures in the tables rely on business size information provided by the members of FOS that appear in the tables. That information has not been independently verified by FOS. While we have every confidence in the responses provided by our members, we also note that there is some margin for inconsistency in the ways in which our requests have been interpreted, primarily because of differences in the structure of FSPs’ business operations.
How do I compare two financial services providers (FSPs)?
Click on the ‘Compare Two FSPs’ tab on the top right of the screen, then select the two FSPs that you wish to compare. This view will show you the disputes data for the two FSPs in any tables they both appear in.
Why are the Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS figures per 100,000 accounts or policies?
The Chance of a Dispute Coming to FOS figures represent the number of disputes brought to FOS about an FSP in a product group between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 per 100,000 accounts or policies the FSP had at 30 June 2010.
We have used the number of disputes per 100,000 accounts or policies, rather than simply the number of disputes divided by the number of accounts or policies, to ensure that we get numbers that are easy to read and compare. Multiplying by 100,000 gives us numbers like 4.7 and 6.2, which are easier to make sense of than numbers like 0.000047 and 0.000062. This multiplication doesn’t change the order the FSPs will appear in when they are ranked from highest to lowest or lowest to highest.
What are the product groups?
FOS divided all the products and services our members provide into the following 21 product groups:
- Business finance
- Consumer loans
- Credit cards
- Credit insurance
- Deposit taking/payment systems
- Derivatives/hedging and securities
- Extended warranties
- Home building insurance
- Home contents insurance
- Housing finance
- Life insurance
- Managed investments
- Margin loans
- Motor vehicle insurance
- Personal and domestic property insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Sickness and accident insurance
- Small business/farm insurance
- Timeshare and strata title schemes
- Travel insurance.
What types of products fall under each product group?
Below is a list of product groups and the types of products that fall within each product group. In brackets next to each product group is the business measure that has been used to quantify the size of an FSP’s business in that product group. There is no information for product groups where we were not able to obtain a common business measure (see the Explanatory Notes for further information about those product groups).
1. Business Finance
Business Credit Cards
Letters of Credit
Lines of Credit/Overdrafts
Non FSP debts
2. Consumer Loans (no. of loan accounts)
Interest free finance
Lines of Credit/Overdrafts
Short Term Finance
3. Credit Cards (no. of credit card accounts)
4. Credit Insurance (no. of policies)
5. Deposit Taking/Payment Systems (no. of retail customer accounts)
Business Transaction Accounts
Foreign Currency Accounts
Mortgage Offset Accounts
Personal Transaction Accounts
Cash Management Accounts
First Home Buyer Accounts
Stored Value Cards
Which offer the following types of facilities/transactions:
Foreign Currency Transfers
6. Derivatives/ Hedging & Securities (no. of investor accounts)
Contracts for Difference
Bills of Exchange
Exchange Traded Funds
7. Extended Warranties (no. of policies)
8. Home Building Insurance (no. of policies)
Residential Strata Title
9. Home Contents Insurance (no. of policies)
10. Housing Finance (no. of home loan accounts)
Investment Property Loans
11. Life Insurance (no. of policies)
Total & Permanent Disability
Whole of Life
12. Managed Investments
Australian Equity Funds
Cash Management Accounts
Charitable/ Educational Schemes
International Equity Funds
Investor Direct Portfolio Services
Managed Discretionary Accounts
Mixed Asset Fund/s
Primary Production Schemes
Trustee Common Funds
13. Margin Loans (no. of investor accounts)
14. Motor Vehicle Insurance (no. of policies)
Motor Vehicle – Comprehensive
Motor Vehicle – Third Party Fire and Theft
Motor Vehicle – Third Party Theft
15. Personal and Domestic Property Insurance (no. of policies)
16. Professional Indemnity Insurance (no. of policies)
17. Sickness and Accident Insurance (no. of policies)
18. Small Business /Farm Insurance
Computer & Electronic Breakdown
Contractors All Risk
Fire or Accidental Damage
Industrial Special Risk
Loss of Profits/ Business Interruption
Account Based Pensions
Approved Deposit Funds
Retirement Savings Accounts
20. Timeshare and Strata Title Schemes (no. of consumer contracts)
Managed Strata Title Schemes
21. Travel Insurance (no. of policies)