FAQs for Financial Services Providers

Who is the Credit and Investments Ombudsman?

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) is a not-for-profit company.

The Members of CIO are individuals, firms and corporations that operate in the credit and finance industry and who agree to be bound by the Credit and Investments Ombudsman Rules and any other recognised Code of Practice.

CIO has a Board of Directors which comprises:

  • an independent Chairman
  • an equal number of consumer and industry representatives.
What are CIO’s objectives?

The main objectives of CIO are to:

  • facilitate the resolution of complaints concerning all aspects of the provision of financial services to consumers by Members of the scheme.
When did CIO start?

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) began operating on 1 August 2000.

CIO was initially established by the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA, formerly MIAA) under the supervision of the Mortgage Industry Review Committee. CIO has been independent of the MFAA since 1st July 2003.

Who can join CIO?

Any of the following financial service providers may be a CIO Member:

Credit industry participants

  • Australian Credit Licensee (ACL)
  • Credit Representatives
  • Mortgage or finance brokers
  • Originator,
  • Aggregator,
  • Mortgage manager,
  • Lender,
  • Securitisation manager,
  • Trust manager,
  • Master servicer or,
  • Programme manager of a securitisation programme,
  • Securitisation trustee,
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurer, as
    Intermediary between borrowers or intending borrowers and,
  • Credit providers

Provider of a financial service

  • Loan facility
  • Debt collection
  • Financial service
  • ADIs
  • Investment
  • Insurance
Why should I join CIO?

Joining CIO is a key tool for managing risk and is essential for a successful business. By becoming a participant of our scheme you are demonstrating your commitment and high standards of service and performance within your day to day operations.

Your customers will have access to independent, experienced, and professional staff to assist them in resolving any complaint they may have about you.

Being a scheme participant can also save you money. By resolving the complaint through CIO, rather than dragging the complaint through the court system, the cost can be significantly less, not to mention less stressful and time consuming.

How does CIO work?

CIO has established a set of rules called the Credit and Investments Ombudsman Rules

These Rules set out:

  • who can make a complaint to the Credit and Investments Ombudsman
  • what matters can be the subject of a complaint
  • what matters are not covered by the Credit and Investments Ombudsman
  • what procedures apply for making a complaint to the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and having that complaint resolved.

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman is appointed and supervised by the Board. However, the day to day functions of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman are carried out by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is responsible for:

  • managing the receipt and resolution of complaints
  • carrying out a conciliation role between consumers and members.

If a complaint is not resolved by conciliation it is referred to the Ombudsman for a binding determination or award. The Ombudsman’s determination is binding only if the consumer accepts it in full as final satisfaction of their complaint.

How do I apply to become a member?

To become a member of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman simply complete a CIO Member Application form and submit with your payment of the application fee and yearly membership fee.

Who should make the application to become a member?

An application for membership may be made by the individual trading, a company or by the partners in a partnership. When making your application, a person with the appropriate authority must complete and agree to being a CIO Member.

How much does it cost to become a member?

When joining CIO as an Australian Credit Licensee (ACL) holder, there is a one-off application fee.

In addition, there is a yearly membership fee, which is calculated according to the size and nature of your business either at the time you apply or renew your membership.

For more information please follow this link to our member fees page.

Are there any fees for CIO hearing a complaint?

Members are charged service fees for complaints CIO receives about them. Service fees are charged according to the relevant stage in the complaints process. These fee stages are set out in the Complaint Fee Schedule which can be found on the Member Fees page.

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