The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has released its 2010-2011 Annual Review, including Comparative Tables showing disputes about individual members.
Highlights for 2010-2011 set out in the Annual Review include:
- In 2010- 2011 (FOS) received 30,283 disputes, up 27% from the previous year, and resolved 28,826 disputes in 2010–2011, up 34% from the previous year.
- While disputes received by FOS increased across all areas, the largest increases were disputes about credit products and services – especially home loans, credit cards and personal loans.
- FOS also received 6,102 financial difficulty disputes in 2010–2011compared to 2,648 in 2009–2010.
- In the first 6 months of 2011, we also received 482 disputes related to the Queensland Floods, 116 related to Victorian Floods and 52 Cyclone Yasi. Like all Australians, everyone at FOS was deeply affected by the impact these natural disasters had on the lives of so many Australians.
- Reflecting FOS’s increased focus on early and collaborative resolution, the proportion of disputes resolved by agreement rose from 53 per cent in 2009-2010 to 71 % in 2010-2011.
- Resolved 20 systemic issues affecting more than 83,000 customers and more involving more than $3.6 million.
Chief Financial Ombudsman, Shane Tregillis said “Last year was challenging for many consumers, the industry and FOS. This is reflected in the increase in the number of disputes we received and resolved in 2010-2011.
“Going forward, FOS will continue to enhance its role as the trusted, independent organisation helping consumers and financial service providers fairly resolve and reduce disputes. We will do so by continuing to develop our approach to achieving fair outcomes by agreement between the parties, making FOS more accessible and easy to use for everyone who needs us, improving transparency about our processes and approach, and putting service excellence at the heart of everything we do.
FOS noted that it turned three years old this year. The last three years have seen significant achievements, challenges and change at FOS. To meet the growing demand for its services, FOS has increased its case handling resources, created an early resolution team and continued its focus on achieving early, collaborative resolution to disputes wherever appropriate. FOS also has an increased emphasis on identifying and following up possible systemic issues with financial services providers.
“Our aim over the next three years is to enhance FOS’s role as a highly regarded organisation providing a trusted, accessible dispute resolution service for consumers and financial services providers.”