Credit complaints atop of surging Financial Ombudsman disputes list

Aussies aren’t too pleased with their credit providers if the Financial Ombudsman Service’s 2016/2017 Annual Review is anything to go by.

The total number of complaints jumped by a sizeable 16% from the previous year to just shy of 40,000, with the Financial Ombudsman website visited a record 675,000 times.

The surge in complaints also meant that 235,000 phone calls were taken throughout the year, an increase of 10% which forced the regulatory body to take on more staff.

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“A major challenge was the increase in disputes received (from 34,095 to 39,479). In response, we recruited additional staff and moved staff to areas of higher dispute volumes,” said Chief Ombudsman, Shane Tregillis.

The chief culprit behind the increase were credit complaints which jumped by a staggering 43% on the previous year to total almost 11,000 disputes.

   Source: Financial Ombudsman Services 2016/2017 Annual Review Snapshot. 

Of the 10,973 disputes filed, one third of them were to do with credit cards, one quarter to do with home loans and one fifth in relation to personal loans.

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The news isn’t good for banks who were responsible for two thirds of all consumer credit disputes and could soon be forced to pay out larger sums of compensation under the proposed Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) which is set to replace the Financial Ombudsman Service next July.

Under the new regulatory body, individual Aussie consumers could recoup up to half a million dollars in compensation while small business owners would be able to claim up to $1 million if they’ve been given a raw deal by their credit provider.

Mozo’s top tips for financial complaints

  • Let your provider know: If you’re unhappy with your credit provider then you can call, email or visit them in person and explain your complaint.
  • Make a formal complaint: Unsatisfied with their response? Register a formal complaint in writing that includes your name, contact details, and the date, as well as any copies of relevant documents.
  • Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service: If you’re still not happy, it is time to contact the Financial Ombudsman. Make sure you explain that you’ve gone through the aforementioned avenues and try your best to remain calm when explaining the problem.

If you’ve had a bad experience with your credit card provider or just want to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your credit card, consider switching. You can compare a range of products using Mozo’s credit card comparison tables.