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Issue 22 - July 2015

Chief Ombudsman's Message

Welcome to the first edition of The FOS Circular since we implemented our new dispute resolution process on 1 July 2015. As I’m sure you can imagine, we have lots of news to share and I am pleased to report that the transition to our new process was a smooth one. I would like t...READ MORE


The FOS Approach

The FOS Approach to non-financial loss claims

FOS will only award compensation for non-financial loss where there has been an unusual amount of physical inconvenience, time taken to resolve a situation, or interference with the Applicant’s expectation of enjoyment or peace of mind. In a privacy dispute, FOS may award compe...READ MORE

FOS staff in discussion.
The FOS Approach to awarding interest in insurance

Interest will normally be awarded if FOS accepts the consumer is owed a sum of money under the policy. Interest will not likely be awarded when: the FSP is liable to repair or replace the relevant item; or FOS determines that the relevant sum to be paid is based on current rate...READ MORE

Percentage sign under magnifying glass

FOS Forum

Key Determinations

No gainful occupation FOS takes a common sense approach to the meaning of gainful occupation in a mortgage protection policy. The Applicant is a 53 years old, self-employed bricklayer. He made a claim for disability benefits under the FSP’s Mortgage Protection policy. Medical o...READ MORE

Bricks and brick laying cement trowel

Dispute Process Reform

Fast, efficient, fairer dispute resolution

Our new dispute process commenced on 1 July 2015 and has gone smoothly. The new dispute process involves: A new process to fast-track decisions for simpler and low-value disputes A new registration and referral process to give financial services providers a final opportunity to...READ MORE


FOS News

Upcoming events

We organise or attend hundreds of events every year. Over the next few months we will be in Sydney and Melbourne running various sessions for our members, along with webinars detailing our new faster, simpler fairer dispute process which came into effect on 1 July 2015. Please ...READ MORE

Top ten tips for getting financial advice right for
accountants and others new to EDR

Many new entrants to the financial advice sector, particularly accountants (who are now required to obtain a licence in order to provide advice on self-managed super funds (SMSFs) from 1 July 2016), have told us that they would like to take greater advantage of our depth of knowl...READ MORE

Illustration of hands using accounting tools.
New consumer contact number for FOS Australia

FOS Australia is pleased to provide callers with a free call option with the addition of a 1800 number: 1800 367 287 (or 1800 FOS AUS). Calls to this number are free of charge to callers, with FOS bearing the cost of the call (for the vast majority of callers, however some mobi...READ MORE

New consumer contact number for FOS Australia.
Provision of documents

Despite provisions in the National Credit Code, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act and other relevant codes, some consumers do not always receive copies of all requested documents from their FSP during the internal dispute resolution process. This article provides an o...READ MORE

Document pouch
The Code Compliance and Monitoring Team

FOS’s Code Compliance and Monitoring Team is a separately operated and funded business unit of FOS, reporting to the Chief Ombudsman. The Team supports independent Committees that monitor compliance with codes of practice in the banking, customer-owned banking, general insuranc...READ MORE

Code Compliance and Monitoring Team
An update from the Code Compliance and Monitoring Team

Senior leadership changes Dr June Smith has resigned from her role as CEO of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee and General Manager of Code Compliance and Monitoring to take up her appointment as Lead Ombudsman (Investments and Advice) at FOS. Over the past four years, Ju...READ MORE

CODE in a speech bubble
Under the spotlight: June Smith

After heading up FOS’s Code Compliance and Monitoring Team for three and a half years, Dr June Smith has recently taken up the appointment of Lead Ombudsman (Investments and Advice). “The intersection between legal, corporate and ethical obligations is where I have spent a lot ...READ MORE

Spotlight on: June Smith
Postcard from... North Western NSW

CentaCare is the official welfare service of the Catholic Church in Australia, and the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes covers the western 52 per cent of New South Wales. Established in 1996, CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes delivers vital programs and services in rural and remote locatio...READ MORE

Lynda Edwards
Unpaid Determinations update

In recent editions of The FOS 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...READ MORE

Unpaid Determinations

Systemic Issues

Systemic Issues update

This article summarises the new systemic issues that we identified during the June quarter of 2015 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 summ...READ MORE

Crowd crossing the street

Case Studies

Case Studies

This is a collection of case studies that have appeared elsewhere in this edition of The Circular. It includes case studies from the FOS Approach in this edition – covering non-financial loss claims. You can read more about our approach to these and other issues by visiting www...READ MORE

Stressed woman sitting with hands clasped to head.


Statistics report

We received 7,720 complaints and disputes during the April - June 2015 quarter. Compared with last quarter, this is a 7% decrease; compared with same quarter last year, this is a 4% decrease. The decrease from last quarter is attributed to credit (down 9%) and payment system (d...READ MORE

Circular 19 - statistics image.