Industry funds group, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has repeated its calls for the financial services regulators to keep registers which would allow consumers to access the level of complaints received about individual firms.
In a submission filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) dealing with internal dispute resolution (IDR) procedures the AIST said it believed that consumers should be able to search complaints at both firm and aggregate level.
And, in what appeared to be a pointed reference to vertically-integrated structures, the AIST said the ability to look at firm-level complaints should extend to outsourced providers and group conglomerates.
It said the financial services Royal Commission had identified many instances where structural conflicts of interest had adversely affected consumers.
“It is therefore important that the volume of complaints be at an individual firm level (e.g. a superannuation fund) as well as at a conglomerate level (e.g. a superannuation fund which forms part of a banking conglomerate),” the AIST submission said.
However, in similar terms to the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the AIST expressed concern at the degree to which complaints made via social media should be recognised.
“AIST acknowledges that complaints may now be made on social media platforms. That being said, anecdotal feedback from funds is that at an industry level, less than 50 percent of people funds attempt to contact via social media respond to the fund,” the submission said.
It suggested that greater guidance was needed around what actually represented a complaint on social media and whether a complaint was actually being made by a genuine member.