Privacy Policy

Sections
 

Who we are
Your right to privacy
What kind of personal information is collected
Anonymity
How we collect your personal information
Use and disclosure
Disclosing personal information overseas
Subscribing to our newsletters
Information security
Information quality
Access and correction to your personal information
Contacting us and complaints



Who we are

‘We’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ refer to Credit and Investments Ombudsman Ltd ACN 104 961 882.

We provide consumers with an independent, impartial and fair external dispute resolution service to assist them to resolve complaints they may have about participating financial services providers. 

Our processes are confidential between the consumer, the financial services provider and us.


Your right to privacy


We comply with the Privacy Act, including the Australian Privacy Principles, which sets out our obligations for the protection of an individual’s personal information.This document sets out how we handle an individual’s personal information.  This includes how we collect, use, disclose and store personal information.



What kind of personal information is collected

When we refer to personal information, we mean information from which your identity is reasonably apparent.  This information may include information or an opinion about you. 

Consumers accessing our dispute resolution service

We will only collect and hold personal information about you for the purpose of investigating your complaint and assisting you to reach a fair outcome with the financial services provider. 

The kinds of personal information we may collect about you include your name, date of birth, address, telephone number, email address and any other information we may need to identify and contact you.

We may also collect information related to your complaint, including information about your financial position.  Depending on the nature of your complaint, this may also include sensitive information such as information about your health or your race or ethnic origin.

Financial services providers and their representatives

If you are a sole trader or if you have been nominated by a financial services provider as their complaint contact, corporate nominee or account contact, the kinds of personal information we may collect about you include your name, postal address, telephone number, email address and any other information we may need to identify and contact you.

If you are a sole trader and choose to pay us by credit card, we may also collect your credit card details.



Anonymity

In most circumstances it will be necessary for us to identify you in order to, for example, deal with your complaint or deal with the financial services provider’s membership.

However, where possible, we will offer you the opportunity of dealing with us anonymously or using a pseudonym.  For example, this may be possible if you make a general enquiry about how to make a complaint, how we would approach a particular type of complaint or how to become a member.



How we collect your personal information

Where reasonable and practical we will collect your personal information directly from you. 

One of the ways we collect personal information is through our online or paper forms, including our complaint forms and membership application forms.  We also collect personal information when you provide it us by, for example, sending us a letter, email or fax or speaking to us on the telephone or in person. 

We will only collect personal information by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.

Consumers accessing our dispute resolution service

If you have made a complaint to us, we may also collect your personal information from your authorised representative (if you have one), from the financial services provider you are complaining about, or the financial services provider’s authorised representative.

We sometimes collect personal information from a third party or from a publicly available source, but only if:

  • you have consented to the collection or would reasonably expect us to collect your personal information in this way, or
     
  • it is necessary for the investigation of your complaint.

Sometimes we receive personal information about a third party from the parties to a complaint.  We only collect this information if it is reasonably necessary for the purpose of dealing with the complaint.



Use and disclosure

Any personal information we collect about you will only be used for the purposes we have collected it. 

We may also contact the parties to a complaint and ask them to complete a survey about our dispute resolution service.  The surveys are voluntary. 

Consumers accessing our dispute resolution service

If you have made a complaint to us, we will only use the information to investigate your complaint and assist you to resolve your complaint with the financial services provider.

As part of our normal activities, we may disclose information about you to:

  • the financial services provider you are complaining about,
     
  • anyone who represents you or the financial services provider, such as a financial counsellor or a lawyer.

We will not give your personal information to another entity unless:

  • you have consented to the use or disclosure,
     
  • you would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the information,
     
  • it is otherwise required or authorised by law,
     
  • we reasonably believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to someone’s life, health or safety or a serious threat to public health or public safety, or
     
  • we have reason to suspect that unlawful activity has been, is being, or may be engaged in, and we use or disclose that information as a necessary part of reporting our concerns to relevant persons or authorities such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

If you tell us that you do not want us to disclose any part of your complaint, we will not do so unless we are required by law to do so.  However, this may prevent us from properly assisting you to resolve your complaint.  For example, if we were to make a decision about what would be a fair outcome to the complaint, procedural fairness may prevent us from relying on the undisclosed information to make a decision in your favour.

Financial services providers and their representatives

If you are a sole trader or a financial services provider’s representative, we will only use the information to contact you about the financial services provider’s membership with us.  This includes membership applications, membership renewals, membership fee and service fee invoices, Annual General Meetings and complaints we have received about the financial services provider.  We may also contact you to provide you with information about our activities.

The identity and contact details of the financial services provider’s nominated complaint contact are published on our website.  We may also provide this information to individuals and organisations who wish to contact the financial services provider’s complaint contact.



Disclosing personal information overseas

We may disclose your personal information overseas where you have made a complaint about a financial services provider and the financial services provider or their staff are located overseas. 


Subscribing to our newsletters

If you have subscribed to receive our newsletters by email, we collect your email address and any other contact details you may provide. 

We will only use this information to send you our newsletters.



Information security

We may store your personal information in paper and electronic form.

We will take reasonable steps to protect your personal information by storing it in a secure environment.  We will also take reasonable steps to protect any personal information from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. 

We will review, on a regular and ongoing basis, our information security practices to ascertain how ongoing responsibilities can be achieved and maintained.

We will take steps to destroy or de-identify personal information after as short a time as possible and after a maximum of seven years, unless the law requires otherwise.



Information quality

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information about you that we collect, store, use, correct or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. We will review, on a regular and ongoing basis, our collection and storage practices to determine how improvements to accuracy can be achieved.

If there are any changes to the personal information we hold about you, you may contact us to update the personal information. 



Access and correction to your personal information

You have a right to request access to the personal information we hold about you and request us to correct the personal information we hold about you at any time.  Our contact details are below.

We may charge a fee for our costs of retrieving and supplying the information to you.  If we do, the fee will not be excessive and only be charged for providing the information.

If you have made a request to correct the personal information we hold about you, depending on the type of request that you make, we may respond to your request immediately, otherwise we usually respond to you within 30 days of receiving your request.  We may need to contact other entities to properly investigate your request. 

If we decide not provide you access or to correct your personal information, we will provide you with our reasons for this. 

If we cannot agree whether the information is accurate, complete and up to date, we will attach your statement to the record.



Contacting us and complaints

If you want to request access to and correction of personal information, contact:

Privacy Officer
Credit and Investments Ombudsman Limited
PO Box A252, Sydney South NSW 1235
T (02) 9273 8400 F (02) 9273 8440 E privacy@cio.org.au

If you are dissatisfied with how we have dealt with your personal information, or you have a complaint about our compliance with the Privacy Act, you may make a written complaint to our Privacy Officer.

We will acknowledge your complaint within seven days.  We will provide you with a decision on your complaint within 30 days.

If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:

GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
www.oaic.gov.au
T 1300 363 992 F (02) 9284 9666 E privacy@privacy.gov.au

You may request further information about the way we manage your personal information by contacting us.  You may request this privacy policy in an alternative form.

We also welcome your feedback about this Privacy Policy.

This Privacy Policy was updated on 12 March 2014.