Madison Utley| Australian Broker| 11 November 2019
In its first year of operation, just 0.35% of the complaints lodged with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) were related to mortgage brokers.
From 1 Nov 2018 to 31 October 2019, Australians lodged 73,272 complaints against their banks, insurance providers, super fund, or other financial firms – receiving $185m in compensation over the 12 months.
In that same period, just 254 complaints were brought against mortgage brokers, resulting in $455,000 in compensation – well under 0.1% of the payout from the dispute resolution scheme.
This industry celebrated when AFCA shared that just 0.44% of complaints received in its first month of operation were against brokers; now, the figure has shrank even smaller amidst the ongoing conversations around best interest and questioning of if consumers are receiving appropriate care from brokers.
The data – averaging out to less than one broker complaint lodged per day – suggests that consumers are indeed overwhelmingly satisfied with their experience with mortgage brokers.
The 73,272 lodgements over the year represent a 40% increase in complaints received compared to AFCA’s predecessor schemes, which in the 2017/18 financial year received a combined total of 52,232 complaints.
“The increase in complaint numbers we are witnessing at AFCA indicates that there is still work to be done by firms to improve their practices and restore public faith in financial firms,” said AFCA CEO and chief ombudsman David Locke.
“Establishing AFCA as a new organisation and handling a 40 percent increase in complaints was never going to be easy and we are still improving the way we operate,” he said.
“AFCA has also been in a major growth phase of staff to meet demand and has launched the first leg of a national roadshow to promote its service across the country.”