Rules & Guidelines

On 1 September 2018 the CIO scheme was transferred to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as part of transition arrangements for AFCA commencing on 1 November 2018. From 1 September 2018 AFCA has been managing the CIO scheme.

As part of transition arrangements, any CIO complaint that is received prior to 1 November 2018 will be dealt with under the CIO Rules. From 1 November the AFCA scheme will commence and any disputes received by AFCA will be dealt with under the AFCA Rules.

For more information, visit the AFCA website.

The CIO Rules

The Rules set out:

  • who can make a complaint to the Credit and Investments Ombudsman
  • what a complaint can be about
  • what complaints are not covered by the Credit and Investments Ombudsman
  • what the procedures are for making and resolving a complaint
  • The 10th Edition Rules came into effect on 15 August 2016 and apply to complaints received on or after that date.

CIO’s monetary compensation limit

As per the CIO Rules, CIO can only award compensation up to its monetary compensation limit for loss suffered by a consumer in respect of their claim.

The CIO Rules provide that CIO must adjust its monetary compensation limit every three years using the higher of the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the increase in Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

CIO’s applicable limits are below.

Date complaint received

Monetary compensation limit

1 January 2012 – 31 December 2014


1 January 2015 – 31 December 2017


1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020


A complaint may contain more than one claim, with each claim being separately subject to the monetary compensation limit. In other words, separate claims by the same complainant will not be aggregated for the purpose of determining a maximum claim.

Guidelines to the CIO Rules

The Guidelines to the CIO Rules are intended to explain in greater detail some aspects of CIO’s Rules.

In particular, the Guidelines explain:

  • how CIO’s Rules apply to a complaint
  • the policies CIO takes into account when exercising its discretions under the Rules.

The Guidelines should be read in combination with the CIO Rules. If there is an inconsistency between the Guidelines and the Rules, the Rules override the Guidelines.