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Issue 19 - November 2014

Chief Ombudsman's Message

The final quarter of the calendar year has arrived quickly and the last three months have certainly been an exceptionally busy time for us at FOS. I was pleased to see many of you recently at the FOS National Conference 2014, which was a great success. In early October we relea...READ MORE


The FOS Approach

Introducing the new FOS Approach

The FOS Approaches are a series of documents that we hope will assist individuals, small business owners and financial services providers to better understand how we reach decisions about key issues on certain topics. If a dispute comes to FOS, we want to do everything we can t...READ MORE

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The FOS Approach to mortgagee sales

When a financial services provider (FSP) lends money, it may require the borrower to provide a mortgage over an asset, usually a home or investment property. If the borrower is later unable to repay the loan, the FSP can take possession of that property to sell it and reduce or...READ MORE

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The FOS Approach to excluding disputes

Under the FOS Terms of Reference (TOR), we can refuse to consider a dispute that is normally within our jurisdiction, if we decide that this is appropriate in the circumstances. The decision to exclude a dispute will be made by FOS. We can decide to exclude a dispute whether or...READ MORE

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FOS Forum

Key Determinations

In July 2014, we issued a determination regarding a financial difficulty dispute. The applicants had been in financial difficulty since 2011, after a downturn in the construction industry affected their business. The FSP had previously provided the applicants with some assistan...READ MORE

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Dispute Process Reform

Fast, efficient, fair dispute resolution

We are continuing to consult with our stakeholders and have piloted initiatives to deliver on our promise to resolve disputes in more a timely, efficient and fair manner. Since the last issue of the Circular, to achieve this goal we have: piloted a new approach with a limited n...READ MORE

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FOS News

Upcoming events

We organise or attend hundreds of events every year. Over the next few months we will be in Brisbane and Perth running various sessions for our members. Please visit our online events calendar regularly, where you can always keep up-to-date with our latest events and register y...READ MORE

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National Conference 2014

FOS’s bi-annual National Conference took place over Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 October 2014. The themes underpinning the keynote speeches, panel discussion and breakout sessions were the future of the consumer and the industry, and building consumer confidence and trust in th...READ MORE

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Annual Review 2013-2014

The Annual Review, released in early October, shows the total number of disputes received remains relatively steady with FOS receiving 31,680 disputes, a decrease of 2% on last year. The number of disputes accepted declined by 3% to 23,454 disputes. Credit disputes accounted fo...READ MORE

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An update from the Code Compliance Team

In September, the FOS Code Compliance Team welcomed the inaugural members of the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (IBCCC) – the new independent body that will monitor compliance with the revised Insurance Brokers Code of Practice. The revised Insurance Brokers Code o...READ MORE

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Under the spotlight: Evelyn Halls

Evelyn Halls always knew she wanted to be a lawyer. From a young age she decided that a career which involved analysis and problem solving was the right path for her. Evelyn joined FOS as an Ombudsman in May 2013 after working for 17 years as a solicitor, senior associate and p...READ MORE

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Profile: Carmel Franklin, Financial Counselling Australia

In August, we spent 60 seconds with Carmel Franklin, Director, Care Financial Counselling Service; Chair, Financial Counselling Australia; Member of the FOS Consumer Liaison Group How has financial counselling changed in recent years? When I started in the sector 20 years ago, ...READ MORE

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Disputes about credit reporting agencies

The role of a credit reporting agency (CRA) is to collect and record specific types of information about an individual. The CRA’s obligation is to ensure that the information recorded accurately reflects the information the credit provider has given the credit reporting agency....READ MORE

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Unpaid determinations update

In recent editions of The Circular and submissions to public inquiries we have discussed the issue of some consumers not receiving compensation from financial services providers (FSPs) following FOS determinations. This article provides an update on the number of unpaid FOS det...READ MORE

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Systemic Issues

Systemic Issues update

This article summarises the new systemic issues that we identified during the September quarter of 2014 and reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It also provides an update on some current and recently resolved systemic issue investigations, a...READ MORE

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Case Studies

Case Studies

This is a collection of case studies that have appeared in our 2013-2014 Annual Review. You can read more about our approach to a variety of issues by visiting More case studies are available on our website at Online applic...READ MORE

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Statistics report

We received 8,174 disputes from July-September 2014. This was a slight increase (2%) from the previous quarter and a 1% decrease from the same quarter last year. The increase may in part be due to the four additional business days this quarter compared with last quarter. Credit...READ MORE

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