Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

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.




Your Debt - Your Rights

If you have debt that you can’t pay such as a loan or lease payments, and you are in financial hardship, you have rights. Your financial services provider may help you but if you are not happy with their help, you can make a complaint to the Credit and Investments Ombudsman.








Do you have a complaint?

If you have a problem with your mortgage broker, lender, credit union, bank, financial planner, debt collector or other finance provider, you should contact them right away.

Most complaints can be solved quickly with a simple phone call or email.

If you are not happy with the response from your finance provider, you can make a complaint to the Credit and Investments Ombudsman.

We are a free, fair and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses in the finance industry.

We investigate and resolve complaints.

We can investigate your complaint if the finance provider:

  • has broken a law or code of practice,
  • has not met standards of good industry practice,
  • or has acted unfairly towards you.

Here are a few examples:

  • You were approved for a loan that you could never afford to repay.


  • Your broker arranged a loan for you that did not meet your requirements or needs.


  • You think your interest rate to be too high.


  • You needed help with your loan payments because you lost your job or were ill, but your lender did not offer you any financial hardship assistance.


  • A debt collector harassed you by calling you too many times, or by calling members of your family before contacting you.


  • Your lender incorrectly charged you a fee.


  • Your lender listed a default on your credit file, without telling you first.


Making a complaint to us is easy. You can make a complaint online or send us a completed complaint form by email, fax or post.

If you need assistance in lodging a complaint, we can help you.

If you are speech or hearing impaired, you can contact us through the National Relay Service ask for the Credit and Investments Ombudsman at 1800 138 422.

ACCC Your Rights Mob




The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a dedicated webpage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers.

Learn more about product and child safety, how to recognise and avoid scams, your refund rights, and how to deal with door-to-door sales.


ACCC webpage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Follow the ACCC's Your Rights Mob on Facebook







Aboriginal Advice Service


The Financial Rights Legal Centre provides an Aboriginal Advice Service (AAS) which specialises in helping consumers in financial hardship. They provide free and independent legal advice, assistance and financial counselling about loans, mortgages, banking and insurance to Indigenous consumers.


The AAS can be reached on 1800 808 488