ASIC to widen powers of Financial Services Ombudsman in the wake corporate collapses

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has proposed expanding the power of the Financial Services Ombudsman to deal with disputes were investors have lost up to $280,000.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has proposed expanding the power of the Financial Services Ombudsman to deal with disputes were investors have lost up to $280,000.

Current monetary limits for disputes heard by the Ombudsman are $100,000 for insurance disputes and $250,000 for disputes involving superannuation and life insurance.

ASIC says the monetary limits need to be lifted because of an increase in the number of large complaints and “significant increases in the value of consumers’ investments in recent years”.

Research conducted by Newspoll on behalf of ASIC found 52% of consumers and investors had experienced some dissatisfaction with a financial product or service in the last two years.

But just over half of these consumers and investors were satisfied with the internal dispute resolution process of their financial service provider, which highlights the importance of the Ombudsman’s external dispute resolution mechanism.

ASIC will conduct consultation on the process until 7 November.

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