AFCA CEO and Chief Ombudsman David Locke

The average compensation awarded or obtained through advice complaints by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority through 2020/21 was $21,000, with only 1.3 per cent of total complaints received by the authority relating to advice.

Answering a request for data tabled at a recent Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services hearing into ASIC, AFCA revealed some of the key metrics around advice complaints.

“In the last financial year (2021-21) AFCA received 901 complaints about financial advisers/planners. This is 1.3 per cent of all complaints received by AFCA.”

These complaints were received against 209 AFCA members classed as planners, the note stated.

In an indication that the complaints were concentrated within a defined cohort, AFCA said ten advice firms accounted for 40 per cent of all complaints.

The top five complaints about financial planners related to a failure to act in the clients’ best interests, inappropriate advice, incorrect fees/costs, service quality and a failure to provide advice.

The top five products complained about in financial planning were superannuation funds, SMSFs, shares, mixed assets funs and income protection insurance.

“50 per cent of all financial adviser/planner complaints were resolved by agreement,” AFCA noted. “14 per cent of complaints progressed to decision. For those matters that progressed to a final decision, 49 per cent were in favour of complainants and 51 per cent in favour of financial firms.”

 

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