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FOS Annual Review 2016-17

Monday, October 30, 2017 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

New data released by FOS on 05/10/17 indicates that a record number of disputes were received in 2016-2017. The review shows that FOS received 39,479 disputes (a 16% increase from last year) with the increase predominantly driven by continued growth in insurance disputes. The number of insurance disputes increased approximately 38% during this period alone. FOS have said that this increase was due to a continuation of industry-specific issues including high claim numbers, organisational changes and the impact of Cyclone Debbie, all of which may have impacted upon the insurers' internal dispute resolution process.

Overall FOS claim that in 2016-2017 that the average time taken in which to resolve a dispute has reduced by 13% and a reduction of 43% from the previous year "without compromising the quality of outcomes". Chief Ombudsman, Shane Tregillis, said in a statement, "This means that people can have their cases resolved more quickly and get on with the rest of their lives."

Of the 39,479 disputes received by FOS 22,475 were accepted with 17,004 referred back to the Credit Provider as being outside of the FOS Terms of Reference. Of the 22,475 disputes received:

  • 10,973 credit disputes
  • 8,756 general insurance disputes
  • 1,861 deposit-taking disputes
  • 1,331 payment system disputes
  • 1,292 investments and advice disputes
  • 1,018 life insurance disputes
Of the credit disputes received 33% involved credit cards, 24% involved home loan and 20% related to personal loan products. Of all disputes received credit cards accounted for 14%, home loans 10% and personal loans 8%. Of all disputed involved 41% involved banks which was lower proportionally to 2015-2016 (46%)

According to the Financial Ombudsman Service ("FOS"), the Bank of Queensland ("BoQ") is the worst offender for disputes when it comes to home loans.

For every 100,000 mortgages across Australia, BoQ was involved in 79 disputes during the last financial year. 40% were resolved by agreement between the parties while a further 29% were found in BoQs favour according to FOS.

A BoQ spokesperson said, "BoQ is dedicated to ensuring our customers' needs are properly met and has some of the highest industry standards in place to ensure we meet responsible lending requirements. Importantly, FOS has either found in favour of BoQ or the action was discontinued in about 45% of cases."

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