If you’re an accountant providing retail clients with advice on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), you'll need to hold a 'limited' Australian financial services (AFS) licence from 1 July 2016. External Dispute Resolution (EDR)
You'll also need to join an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Joining the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) will satisfy this requirement.
Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR)
ASIC requires a licensee who deals with retail clients to maintain an internal dispute resolution (IDR) process. In our experience, the vast majority of complaints between clients and licensees are resolved in IDR. Only complaints that are not resolved 'internally' within IDR are referred to CIO.
More than 23,000 financial services providers (FSPs) choose CIO as their preferred EDR scheme.
Principal benefits for SMSF accountants joining CIO
We are required to be entirely independent and impartial, and you and your clients will have access to experienced and professional staff to help resolve complaints in a confidential setting.
Accountants or other FSPs who hold limited AFS licences will be entitled to a free membership until 1 July 2017. After that date, a base membership fee of $390 (which includes up to 5 of your representatives) is payable. We will also waive the standard application fee of $190 if you join us before 1 July 2017.
We do charge complaint fees depending on the stage of our process the complaint reaches. However, only 2.3% of CIO members receive complaints each year. Further, most complaints are resolved at our earliest (and least expensive) stages: 92% of all complaints received by us are solved at the Registration or Initial Review Stages.
We also offer a complaint fee rebate for one complaint per membership year.