Australia’s Financial Complaints Authority Facing Difficulty Collecting Charges

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As reported by Finance Feeds, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has earlier this week updated the list of firms that owe complaint-regulated and other charges related to membership in the organization. Indeed a review of AFCA’s website shows that five member firms have settled their obligations, while 23 companies remain on the list.

The list of debtors to AFCA is substantial, with at least one firm owing almost half a million Australia dollars to the authority. AFCA says it has made numerous attempts to contact the financial firms to recover the amounts owing. While it is not known if this is a precedent, it would be expected that the authority would have a mechanism for enforcing payments, perhaps in coordination with Australia’s Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Nonetheless, it is unreasonable to believe that firms can continue to operate with such debts owed to the dispute resolution body.

At the Financial Commission broker members may not be charged a fee per complaint resolved, but are expected to honor dispute resolution decisions prescribing compensation or an award to customers, with a further protection for traders by the Compensation Fund, should the broker fail to act of a dispute resolution.

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