The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will kick off with a staff of around 550 people.
The considerable scale of the new “one-stop-shop” external dispute resolution scheme was confirmed by AFCA’s chairman, former Federal Liberal Minister, Helen Coonan, who also confirmed that financial services firms and superannuation funds would be levied to pay for the body via a levy similar to the so-called “APRA levy”.
She said that while the AFCA would start being funded under an APRA levy-style model, there would be consultation around future arrangements and the organisation’s operational guidelines.
Coonan outlined the scope of AFCA at the Financial Services Council’s (FSC’s) Leaders’ Summit in Melbourne where she acknowledged the challenges associated with it taking over the role of the soon to be defunct Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
However, she said she believed AFCA would be more proactive in its engagement with superannuation funds because it represented a more proactive model than the SCT.
Coonan also confirmed that notwithstanding AFCA’s 1 November, 2018, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) would continue to accept complaints up to that date and that those complaints would not then be transferred to the AFCA.