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Australia’s financial ombudsman has been hit with an “unprecedented rise” in complaints amid the cost-of-living crisis because banks are not doing enough to protect customers.

In the past 12 months, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has been hit with 96,987 complaints, a new record.

AFCA’s chief ombudsman and chief executive officer, David Locke said the stress of rising interest rates, the scourge of scams, issues with insurance claims, and high living costs were clear in the disputes.

“We are deeply concerned by the volume of complaints consumers are having to escalate to AFCA,” Locke said.

“It’s not fair on consumers and not good for business. We need to see a significant improvement from firms.”

Delays in insurance claim handling was the top issue across all complaints, with an increase of 76 per cent recorded.

General insurance complaints rose 50 per cent to 27,924.

“We have been raising our concerns about claim delays with insurers for over 12 months now,” Locke said.

“It is disappointing that this continues to be a concern.

Personal transaction account disputes rose 86 per cent in 2022-23, and have overtaken credit cards as the most complained about product.

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21 thoughts on “A record number of financial complaints have been made over the last year. So what’s fuelling the rise?”
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