Credit Ombudsman supports industry review

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has welcomed Treasurer Scott Morrison’s announcement that the federal government will establish an expert panel to review external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes in the finance sector.

Raj Venga, CEO and ombudsman of the CIO, said he was pleased the government had recognised the critical role of EDR schemes in financial services and the importance of ensuring consumers and small businesses are able to have disputes resolved efficiently and at no cost to them.

“We are an important part of Australia’s consumer protection framework and deliver tangible benefits to consumers, our members and the financial system as a whole”, Mr Venga said.

“We are also committed to continuous improvement, and look forward to working with the panel to identify where there might be scope to enhance the services we provide.”

The CIO said the panel will also be asked to assess the merits of better integrating existing schemes to improve complaints handling.

“We recognise the importance of working closely with the Financial Ombudsman Service and have a number of measures in place that ensure the consumer experience is seamless,” Mr Venga said.

“Equally, however, we continue to see significant value in having more than one scheme, which has enriched the contributions of EDR to a range of policy and law reform initiatives.

“EDR schemes within and across sectors learn from each other, and together encourage and inspire innovation.”

[Related: Credit Ombudsman appoints former ASIC exec]

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