ASIC gives financial firms AFCA transition relief

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it would give financial firms, including superannuation trustees, until 1 July 2019 to update mandatory disclosure documents and periodic statements with the contact details of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

AFCA is the new single external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme for consumer and small business complaints.

A range of measures has been put in place to ensure that consumers are kept informed of how and where to pursue a complaint during the transition to AFCA, which will start dealing with complaints about all financial firms from 1 November 2018, ASIC said.

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Under the disclosure relief, financial firms will have until 1 July 2019 to update EDR details to refer to AFCA in mandatory disclosure documents, periodic statements and exit statements, the regulator said.

Also, they will not have to issue significant event notifications under s1017B of the Corporations Act associated with the transition to AFCA, it said.

Regulatory Guide 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution (RG 165) has also been amended to require information about predecessor schemes and AFCA to be provided to complainants from 21 September 2018.

ASIC said it would continue to work with all EDR scheme stakeholders to ensure the transition to AFCA is as smooth as possible for both financial firms and consumers.

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