Government appoints Liberal stalwart, Helen Coonan, first AFCA Chair

The Turnbull Government has announced that Liberal Party stalwart and former Howard cabinet member, Helen Coonan, has been appointed as the inaugural chair of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Commenting on the appointment, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, said that Coonan, who had previously held that same ministerial position, would bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the role.

“Ms Coonan has experience in the law, business, financial services and dispute resolution. She is a distinguished former Cabinet Minister in the Howard Government, and as the then Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, she demonstrated deep knowledge and understanding of the financial services sector and the issues faced by consumers of financial products and services,” she said.

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Coonan would also bring extensive board experience to the role, having recently sat on the Place Management NSW and Snowy Hydro Limited boards.

Under the AFCA framework, the Minister would be able to appoint a minority of the AFCA board within six months of authorising a not-for-profit company to operate the AFCA scheme.

O’Dwyer yesterday said that following its authorisation, she intended to make other appointments to its board, including consumer and industry specialists. Authorisation has been sought for no later than 15 March, 2018.

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