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Operational Guidelines to the Terms of Reference

The Operational Guidelines will provide further explanation for users of our service about our approach to the application of our Terms of Reference. We are consulting with consumer representatives, our members and industry associations to obtain feedback on what the guidelines should address and how particular provisions should be framed to assist Applicants and Financial Services Providers.   We have finished member consultation and when we have completed consultation with the remaining stakeholders, we will prepare a final draft of the Operational Guidelines that takes into account feedback from stakeholders. This final draft will be submitted to our Board for approval in October 2009.  

Invitation to provide feedback on changes to the Terms of Reference due to RG139 — deadline 25 September 2009

On 27 July 2009, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) released Consultation Paper 112 entitled "Dispute resolution requirements for consumer credit and margin lending" (CP112).

CP112 sets out ASIC’s proposals on administering the new dispute resolution requirements for credit licensees and representatives, margin lenders and those who give advice on margin loans.

ASIC has sought the views of stakeholders and other interested parties on its proposals, with submissions due by 11 September 2009.

If some or all of the proposals in CP112 are adopted by ASIC, we will have to amend our Financial Ombudsman Service Terms of Reference to accommodate these proposals.

ASIC intends to consider the submissions it receives and issue an updated Regulatory Guide 139 (Approval and oversight of external dispute resolution schemes “RG139”) in mid to late October 2009.

  We are required to comply with RG139 to maintain our status as an ASIC approved external dispute resolution scheme. We propose to consult with stakeholders about changes that may need to be made to the proposed Financial Ombudsman Service Terms of Reference to ensure that they comply with RG139 when it is updated. As you will appreciate, there is little time available for this consultation.

Comments on the proposals in CP112 and/or their impact on the Terms of Reference may be made to ASIC up until 11 September 2009. You are invited to also make submissions on these matters to us. You may do this by simply providing us with a copy of your submission to ASIC.

Your submission should be provided to us by 25 September 2009 which will be the end of our consultation period. Please send your submission to Carolyn Bruns, Policy Manager at or 03 9613 7389.