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Special issue - April 2014

Chief Ombudsman's Message


This is a special issue of the Circular to inform you of the action FOS is taking in response to its recent independent review.

Other Circular news items include:

  • a snapshot of our submission to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI)
  • unpaid Determinations: $8,335,479.95 plus interest is owed to 99 applicants whose claims FOS upheld but have not been paid compensation. This is a key issue which is addressed in our FSI submission
  • the adequacy of professional indemnity insurance and the importance of maintaining robust financial counselling services across the country.


Independent review update
We’ll be holding a series of industry meetings over the next few weeks to discuss the independent review’s findings and changes we’re proposing in response to its recommendations. Our response to the review’s recommendations can be viewed here.

Executive General Managers Michael Ridgway and Jamie Orchard will discuss at those meetings how FOS can best engage with stakeholders at a financial services provider and industry level. Michael and Jamie will also consult with consumer organisations.

The review highlighted the need for us to quicken the pace of our efforts to reduce our current dispute backlogs and streamline dispute-handling processes, among other key actions.

Initiatives implemented through our 2013-2014 Business Plan are already making an impact on the dispute backlog and improving our dispute processes, but I accept more needs to be done in both these areas.

Exciting opportunities lie ahead to dramatically improve the dispute service we provide to consumers and financial services providers.

I’m keen to implement the review’s changes by 1 July 2015 and, where we can do so, pilot some initiatives and implement others before then.

To read the independent review report, click here. If you have any queries regarding the review and/or key projects, please email or phone 03 8623 2007.



Shane Tregillis