Consumer Action is responding to the proposed amendments to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s (AFCA) approach to non-financial loss claims (Amended Approach). We generally support the goal of providing additional guidance to help clarify the scale of non-financial loss that AFCA may award.
However, we have some significant concerns, set out in our submission, about the content and particularly the case studies that AFCA has chosen to use as examples of how the Amended Approach would work in practice. In our view these seem to chronically underassess the impact of financial firms’conduct on complainants in circumstances where non-financial loss should be awarded.
After reviewing the Amended Approach, we have formed the conclusion that, overall, the changes proposed appear primarily to only involve an attempt to re-order some of the existing content. This in our view, wastes the opportunity that AFCA currently has to widen the existing narrow approach to compensation and address the pressing need to award non-financial loss to victims as compensation for the harm and injuries they have suffered.
Read our full submission (PDF).230423_AFCA NFL approach update – CALC Submission