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18 July 2019

AFCA legacy complaints

The Banking Royal Commission may be over, but sadly there are many Australian small businesses that still carry the scars as victims of bad behaviour by the banks.

The good news is that small businesses impacted by financial misconduct as far back as 1 January, 2008 can lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

But act quickly – there is just one year window in which AFCA can accept legacy complaints and that will end on 30 June, 2020.

AFCA will firstly refer the complaint back to the financial firm to resolve. If it is unable to satisfactorily resolve the legacy complaint, AFCA will undertake an investigation.

Who’s eligible to make a legacy complaint?  

  • The borrower is a small business with less than 100 employees
  • The complaint relates to a loan under $5 million
  • The financial entity is a member of AFCA
  • The complaint has not previously been heard by the Financial Ombudsman Service, a court or settled between the parties

Before you submit a complaint:

  • Identify the financial firm you have the complaint with
  • Identify the main issues in the complaint
  • Identify the losses incurred and what outcome is sought
  • Collect any relevant documents that support the complaint (however it is not mandatory to have all of the documentation)

Making a complaint:

  • Simply go to AFCA’s website https://www.afca.org.au/ and click the yellow “make a complaint” button in the top right hand corner

Potential compensation:

Small businesses could be awarded a maximum of $1 million in compensation if their claim is successful, while the maximum compensation for primary producers is $2 million per claim.