AFCA, Appointments

AFCA names new advice ombudsman

AFCA advice ombudsman

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has appointed a former adviser and lawyer as lead ombudsman for investments and advice.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has named former financial adviser and lawyer Shail Singh as lead ombudsman for investments and advice at the dispute resolution body.

Singh had been acting in the role since January 2022 after Natalie Cameron, who previously held the role, became lead ombudsman for banking and finance.

His appointment was confirmed by the AFCA board after a competitive selection process and follows on from his promotion to senior ombudsman for investments and advice in 2021.

Prior to that, he was an ombudsman with AFCA when it first commenced operations in November 2018, having started his work in dispute resolution as a case manager with the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) in 2010.

He initially trained as a lawyer and worked as an in-house legal counsel before retraining and working as a financial planner prior to joining FOS.

AFCA deputy chief ombudsman Dr June Smith said Singh brought a range of experience to the new role due to his previous work history.

“He is a respected specialist in investments and advice complaints in areas such as financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency and stockbroking,” Smith said.

“Shail has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders, among other things initiating a financial advice liaison group and a cryptocurrency liaison group.”

Singh added: “I’m looking forward to continuing my work with firms to prevent disputes and to being involved in improving our systems and processes to deliver an even better dispute resolution service that is transparent, timely, efficient and above all fair.”

AFCA stated it was on track to register about 100,000 complaints in the 2023 financial year and Singh, alongside four other lead ombudsmen – Natalie Cameron (banking and finance), Suanne Russell (small business), Emma Curtis (insurance) and Heather Gray (superannuation) – oversee the dispute resolution body’s decision-making in regards to those complaints.

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