Media release - Credit and Investments Ombudsman welcomes Treasurer's announcement

Sydney, 20 April 2016 -- The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, that the Commonwealth Government will establish an expert panel to review the role, powers and governance of financial sector external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes.

Mr Raj Venga, Ombudsman and CEO, said today that he was particularly pleased to see the recognition of the critical role played by EDR schemes in financial services, and the importance of ensuring that consumers and small businesses are able to have disputes resolved efficiently and at no cost to them.

“We are an important part of Australia’s consumer protection framework, and deliver tangible benefits to consumers, our members and the financial system as a whole”, he said. “We are also committed to continuous improvement, and look forward to working with the panel to identify where there might be scope to enhance the services we provide”.

The panel will also be asked to assess the merits of better integrating existing schemes to improve complaints handling. “We recognise the importance of working closely with the Financial Ombudsman Service, and have a number of measures in place that ensure the consumer experience is seamless”, said Mr Venga. “Equally, however, we continue to see significant value in having more than one scheme, which has enriched the contributions of EDR to a range of policy and law reform initiatives. EDR schemes within and across sectors learn from each other, and together encourage and inspire innovation.”