Identify the complaints culprits urge industry funds

Industry superannuation funds organisation, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) wants the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to publish data revealing which financial services businesses get the most complaints, and why.

In a submission filed in response to an AFCA consultation paper on arrangements for comparative reporting of complaint data, the AIST has urged the inclusion of additional data which would reveal whether most complaints were lodged against bank-owned superannuation funds as opposed to industry or public sector funds.

Further, the AIST has urged a biennial review of such data.

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The AIST submission said that the public report needed to contain data which might assist in identifying which types of organisations created the need for greater regulatory, the success or otherwise of regulatory initiatives such as the product design and distribution obligations and trends and patterns of complaints which might highlight the need for reform.

The submission pointed out that while the AFCA was proposing only a simple business metric for each financial firm such as “very large” or “superannuation”, the AIST believed the authority needed to go further by specifying whether they were “industry funds, retail funds, public sector funds etc”.

It said that it believed that the simple metric being proposed by the AFCA would “not pain a truly accountable or fair picture”.

“It will not show – whatever the business size – the ‘intensity’ of the volume of complaints lodge against that business,” the submission said.

The AIST recommended that in similar fashion to the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority the public report provided AFCA should include the relative frequency of complaints by either the number of accounts held by the financial organisation or the number of superannuation members.

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