Shail Singh

After over a year in an acting capacity, AFCA has officially appointed Shail Singh as lead ombudsman for investments and advice.

In a media release on Tuesday morning, the complaints authority said the board confirmed his appoint after a competitive selection process.

AFCA deputy chief ombudsman June Smith said Singh brings the combined experience of being in dispute resolution as well as being a financial adviser.

“He is a respected specialist in investments and advice complaints, in areas such as financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency and stockbroking,” Smith said.

“Shail has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders, among other things initiating a financial advice liaison group and a cryptocurrency liaison group.”

Singh’s tenure has been marked by his accessibility to advisers, whether it is via AFCA’s publicly available online events or attending industry events where he isn’t scheduled to speak.

He has been part of an advice and investments team during a time when advice complaints have declined and Treasury has given strong approval to the authority.

Singh is a lawyer by profession and worked both as an in-house legal counsel and for regulators including WorkSafe Victoria and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria.

He then trained and worked as a financial planner before becoming a case manager with an AFCA predecessor, the Financial Ombudsman Scheme, in 2010.

Singh was appointed as an ombudsman when AFCA commenced in November 2018, becoming senior ombudsman for investments and advice in 2021.

He became acting lead ombudsman at the start of last year when his predecessor, Natalie Cameron, became lead ombudsman for banking and finance.

AFCA is on track to register about 100,000 complaints in the FY23 and recently touted securing $1 billion for complainants since inception in November 2018.

Singh joins four other lead ombudsman – Suanne Russell (small business), Emma Curtis (insurance), Heather Gray (superannuation) and Cameron.