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Committee Recommends Tribunal to Replace Ombudsman

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

In our September 2016 edition we ran a blog post CIO Warns Against Tribunal where the CEO of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman ("CIO") expressed concern about the Federal Government establishing a tribunal to hear complaints about financial service providers.

A recent report, released exclusively to ABC News, has now recommended that the Government establish a new ombudsman to replace both the Financial Ombudsman Service ("FOS") and the CIO.

Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said on 7 October, "We will get a low cost, speedy tribunal to deal with these types of consumer complaints, customer complaints against banks". The Government, at this stage, is indicating that a single tribunal will be established as a "catchall for having a one-stop consumer complaints stop [sic]".

The comments by Mr Turnbull came amid appearances by CEO's of the big 4 banks before a parliamentary committee. It was a recommendation by the committee that, if required, a Banking and Financial Services Sector Tribunal be setup prior to 1 July 2017. Any such tribunal would replace both FOS and the CIO with the tribunal being funded by the banks and being backed by legislation.

We will continue to monitor and report on these changes as they are released.

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