The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced that it is recruiting for the roles of deputy chief ombudsman and general counsel to support the expansion of its jurisdiction on 1 July 2019, when it begins accepting complaints dating back to 2008.
“AFCA has grown quickly since we launched on 1 November 2018,” chief ombudsman and CEO David Locke said.
“It is now a much larger national body with an ambitious strategy that, as well as prioritising the effective resolution of disputes, also places an increased emphasis on identifying systemic issues and serious misconduct in the financial services industry.
“Appointing the key senior roles of deputy chief ombudsman and general counsel will ensure AFCA is able to deliver a fair, proactive and customer-focused dispute resolution service in a rapidly changing, complex operating environment.”
Mr Locke said that AFCA has experienced an “unprecedented level of complaints” in its first six months of operation, with over 35,000 consumers and small businesses raising complaints.
“This is extraordinary and really reflects an increased awareness by consumers of their rights, and an increased willingness to complain,” he said.
The chief ombudsman added that AFCA also remains focused on improving the internal dispute resolutions (IDR) practices of its members, noting that it needs the “right people at the helm” to guide its work.
Mr Locke added: “Organisational culture and leadership is a key focus at AFCA, and we are always looking for bright people who are passionate about fairness and access to justice.”
AFCA will also be recruiting a lead ombudsman, banking and finance, to replace Philip Field who has resigned from the role, effective at the end of July.
“I thank Philip for his service and dedication over the 17 years he has been an ombudsman and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours,” Mr Locke said.
[Related: AFCA appoints small business ombudsman]