The Review Panel’s Terms of Reference require it to examine whether changes to the current external dispute resolution (EDR) framework in the financial sector are needed to deliver effective outcomes for users in a rapidly changing and dynamic financial system. As the impact of financial disputes on the lives of individuals and their families can be devastating, a well-functioning EDR framework is an important issue for many Australians.
Assessing the current framework against the Review’s Terms of Reference, the Panel found that the existing industry ombudsman schemes (the Financial Ombudsman Service and Credit and Investment Ombudsman) are a cornerstone of the EDR framework but there is scope to improve outcomes for consumers and small business.
The Panel’s Interim Report was informed by submissions received in response to the Panel’s Issues Paper and makes draft recommendations in a number of policy areas. The Panel’s view is that these draft recommendations represent an integrated package of reforms to address shortcomings in the current framework and ensure that it is well-placed to address both current problems and withstand future challenges.
The Panel looks forward to receiving public submissions on its broad approach and the draft recommendations by 27 January 2017 to assist in preparing a Final Report to government by the end of March 2017.