Complaint Process






















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 information outlined below is relevant for all complaints received by CIO prior to 1 November 2018. From 1 November 2018, AFCA will be dealing with all new financial services complaints.



Before making a complaint to CIO



  • Before making a complaint to us, the consumer should first give the financial services provider (FSP) an opportunity to resolve the complaint.
  • The consumer should contact the person they originally dealt with or the FSP’s customer complaints area to discuss their complaint.
  • If the complaint remains unresolved, or if the FSP does not respond, the consumer can lodge their complaint with CIO.

Validation

  • Within 48 hours, most complaints will be registered into our complaints handling database. Notices are sent to the FSP and consumer confirming receipt of the complaint.
  • The FSP has 7 days to provide us with a copy of its IDR response. The FSP can also use this time to try to resolve the complaint before we progress it.
  • If the complaint is not resolved, or if the information received does not indicate that the complaint should be closed under our Rules, the complaint will be moved to the Initial Review stage.
  • For complaints where the consumer is seeking less than $3,000 or the complaint is about a credit listing or enquiry, we may decide to deal with the complaint using our Expedited Process. If so, the complaint will not be moved to the Initial Review stage.


Initial review

  • The Initial review stage is CIO’s first round of information gathering.
  • Our first step is to obtain information from the FSP. The information request will be relevant to the consumer’s claims and any information already received from either party (such as the FSP’s IDR response).
  • Any subsequent response received from the FSP will be referred to the consumer to give them an opportunity to reply. Further information may also be requested from the consumer.
  • After this first round of information gathering, if the complaint is not resolved, or if the information received does not indicate that the complaint should be closed under our Rules,the complaint will be moved to the Investigation stage.


Investigation


  • The Investigation stage is CIO’s final round of information gathering, where more detailed information may be requested from, or targeted questions can be asked of, both parties.
  • CIO may give a preliminary assessment to assist negotiations.
  • If the complaint cannot be resolved,based on the information we have we will either issue a Recommendation on how the complaint should be resolved,or close the complaint if it is not one that we can continue to deal with under our Rules.
  • If the parties do not accept the Recommendation, then the complaint will be moved to the Determination stage.

Determination 

  • The Ombudsman will issue a Determination that sets out how the complaint should be resolved
  • If the consumer does not accept the Determination, the complaint is closed and the consumer is free to pursue their complaint elsewhere
  • If the consumer accepts the Determination, the FSP is bound by it.Once the FSP has given effect to the Determination, the complaint is closed.


At any time during the complaint

  • The parties may reach an agreement to resolve the complaint.
  • We may close a complaint if the consumer withdraws their complaint or stops responding to our communications.
  • We may close a complaint if the information we have indicates that it is not one we can continue to deal with under our Rules. The consumer can ask for this decision to be referred to the Ombudsman for Determination