The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has launched an online tool allowing consumers to monitor how financial institutions, financial planners and superannuation funds are responding to complaints against them lodged with the grievance body.
The new service, Datacube, is aimed at improving transparency and consumer education and will give consumers the ability to make a direct comparison between financial firms.
According to AFCA, the tool will make available information such as the number of complaints received, the amount of time it takes for a complaint to be resolved and the number of times a financial organisation failed to respond to a complaint.
“The AFCA Datacube provides a much deeper level of detail about the issues and products that consumers and small businesses are complaining to us about,” AFCA chief executive David Locke said.
“Anyone can use this tool to review the performance of their financial firm and compare it to others in the market. This data, and the level of detail that consumers can see about each firm, will also support the work of policymakers and researchers. For financial firms themselves, they can clearly see how they are tracking at handling complaints and how this compares to others in the market.
“All ombudsman schemes are required to publish data on the complaints that they handle and AFCA is no different. This tool though presents AFCA’s data in a way that is more accessible and easier to understand and interrogate.”
Currently, the Datacube contains information spanning 30 June 2019 to 1 November 2019, with feature enhancements expected to be rolled out in the coming months.
“We want to allow both consumers and our members access to the most recent data possible and are working to release the next update to this tool in January 2020,” Locke said.
Separate data AFCA released this week showed a 40 per cent rise in complaints against financial institutions since the inception of the body a year ago.