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Issue 16 - January 2014

Chief Ombudsman's Message


Welcome to the first issue of The Circular for 2014.

Already it is shaping up to be a big year for FOS. As we move into 2014 our focus remains on reducing our backlogs and improving the time taken to deal with new disputes, and we continue to make changes to our dispute processes and procedures to support these goals. In this issue of The Circular you can read about the progress of Project 500 and about a new initiative to make our decision documents – particularly our Recommendations – easier to read and understand. Throughout the year we will continue to explore what we can do to further improve our dispute process.

We are also getting towards the final stage of the independent review, with the final report due to be presented to the FOS Board at its next meeting. I look forward to the Board’s consideration of the independent review findings so that we can continue to improve the dispute services we provide to the Australian community and financial services providers.

I hope you are familiar with The FOS Approach – a series of documents that we have created and continue to add to, which aim to help everyone better understand how we reach decisions about key issues. The 2013 Code of Banking Practice comes into effect on 1 February, and we have put together a FOS Approach document to explain how we will take the new Code into account when considering Banking & Finance disputes. You can read more here.

As always, if you have comments or suggestions about anything you read in the Circular, please let us know at



Shane Tregillis