Consumer groups have been delivered direct input into the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) via a newly-formed Consumer Advisory Panel.
The panel consists of 10 consumer representatives and is being chaired by a the former executive officer of the Financial and Consumer Rights Council and former Consumer Action Law Centre board member, Peter Gartlan.
Confirming establishment of the panel, AFCA chief executive and chief ombudsman, David Locke said it would provide important insights on issues and ensure consumer needs were being met.
“AFCA exists to deliver fair solutions to financial disputes, to provide access to justice for consumers and small business owners, and to work with industry to improve its practices and minimise disputes arising in the first place,” Locke said.
“Consumer organisations see thousands of people every year and have unique perspectives that can help inform AFCA’s work,” he said. “AFCA is a new organisation and open feedback is important as we continue to improve our processes and services.
“We have ensured that we have selected Panel members who represent the community we serve, including older Australians, Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders, vulnerable communities and those with financial difficulties.”
Locke said the panel would meet quarterly in different locations across Australia.