The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) offers consumers an accessible, independent and fair external dispute resolution (EDR) service, approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).We have more than 20,000 participants of our scheme who operate in a variety of financial service sectors. Participants of our scheme include credit unions, building societies, non-bank lenders, mortgage and finance brokers, financial planners, investment managers, debt services and a wide range of other financial services and product providers.
Our aim is to provide consumers with a free and impartial dispute resolution service as an alternative to legal proceedings for resolving complaints with their financial services and product providers.
CIO was first established as the Mortgage Industry Ombudsman Service Limited (MIOS) on 18 June 2003, and commenced operations on 1 July 2003. We adopted the name Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) on 17 February 2004 before becoming the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) on 19 November 2014.
We operate as an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme approved by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under ASIC Regulatory Guide 139. Under this guide, we are required to be impartial, accessible and independent.
Co-location of functions
Until 11 October 2006, the day-to-day administration of consumer complaints and conciliation functions (Case Management) were carried out on behalf of our scheme by the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre. Thereafter, our Case Management function was brought in-house, alongside the administration and membership functions.
Our Ombudsman carries out the functions of determination of consumer complaints, and the making of binding awards in appropriate cases.
Up until 10 October 2006, the Ombudsman was a person appointed from a panel of suitably qualified and experienced persons. Since then, we have moved to a CEO structure, with a single suitably qualified and experienced person acting as both CEO and Ombudsman.