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Issue 14 - Winter 2013

Chief Ombudsman's Message

This month we are celebrating five years of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Since we formed in 2008, we have resolved more than 137,000 disputes between customers and their financial services providers. The demand for our service has grown 70% over this time, due in large part...READ MORE


The FOS Approach

The FOS Approach to assessing special circumstances

We publish the FOS Approach to help make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand how we consider disputes about particular issues. This includes the different elements we will consider and the relevant Codes, legal principles, obligations and industry best practice th...READ MORE


FOS Forum

Key determinations

In February 2013, we issued our first Determination which considered the application of the responsible lending provisions contained in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (the Act). Although the provisions came into effect on 1 July 2010 for organisations other th...READ MORE

Queensland floods - lessons learnt

Queensland residents have experienced some tough times over the past few years, with a series of successive natural disasters in the region. In 2011, more than three quarters of the State was declared a disaster zone. According to Catherine Uhr, Senior Solicitor/Consumer Advoca...READ MORE


FOS News

Upcoming events

We organise or attend hundreds of events every year. Over the next few months we will be in Darwin, Adelaide and Perth running various sessions for our members and financial counsellors/community lawyers and money management workers. You can always keep up-to-date with our even...READ MORE

Significant event response strategy

In this edition of the Circular we have spoken about the recent natural disasters in Queensland. Unfortunately, in recent years we have had more practice than we would have liked dealing with these types of events and related disputes. We have seen disputes arise from the bushf...READ MORE

Independent review

FOS operates as an external dispute resolution service under approval from ASIC. As a condition of this approval, we are required to periodically have an independent review of our operations against the ASIC benchmarks of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, e...READ MORE

General Insurance Code of Practice 2011-2012

The FOS Code Compliance and Monitoring Team has now published its General Insurance annual report, The General Insurance Code of Practice: Overview of the Year 2011/2012, which contains aggregated industry data and consolidated analysis on Code compliance. This article contains...READ MORE

Folder tab named insurance.
Reaching resolutions sooner

In past editions of the Circular we have talked about the steps we have been taking to improve the services we provide to the individuals and financial services providers who use our dispute services. An important part of this has been our Key Process Review project, which has ...READ MORE

Under the spotlight - Michael Ridgway

Michael Ridgway is the Executive General Manager of the FOS General Resolution Group. The General Resolution Group handles disputes at the early stages of the resolution process, up to the point of referral for decision-making. The main focus of this group is resolving disputes...READ MORE

Circular 14 Under the spotlight Michael Ridgway
Postcard from...Brisbane

The Consumer Protection Unit of Legal Aid Queensland is making legal rights a reality for disadvantaged people in Queensland, says Paul Holmes (Solicitor). The Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) is a specialist team that provides free community legal education, information, expert ...READ MORE


Systemic Issues

Systemic issues update

This article summarises new systemic issues that we identified during the March and June quarters of 2013 and reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It also provides an update on some current and recently resolved systemic issue investigations,...READ MORE


Case Studies

Case studies

This is a collection of case studies that have appeared elsewhere in this edition of the Circular. It includes the three case studies from the FOS approach document that demonstrate how we assess whether special circumstances apply to documents that are provided to us. You can ...READ MORE




We received 8,255 disputes during April-June 2013. During this quarter we saw an increase in disputes received compared with the previous quarter (up by 8%) but a decrease compared with the June 2012 quarter. The reduction in credit and general insurance disputes are the main c...READ MORE