AFCA releases complaints list for banking and financial services

Superannuation funds and advisers high on the list of complaints to AFCA.

filing cabinet containing complaints

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has had its work cut out for it in the wake of the banking and financial services royal commission, having already awarded around $185 million in payouts from 73,272 complaints heard in its inaugural year.

According to AFCA, complaints ranged from issues with credit reporting, irresponsible lending, incorrect super and life insurance fees, denial of claims and unauthorised transactions.

The authority said the largest number of complaints were directed at banks (25,826), followed by general insurers (14,139) and credit providers (10,327).

However, superannuation funds or advisers came in fourth, with 2999 complaints, followed by debt collectors and buyers in fifth spot with 2902 complaints.

Superannuation received nine per cent – or one in 10 of all complaints – mostly for incorrect fees or costs (873 complaints), delays in claim handling (770 complaints), account administration errors (492 complaints), denial of claims (437 complaints) and incorrect claim amounts (402 complaints).


The five funds that received the most complaints were:

  • AustralianSuper Pty Ltd (227 complaints, 122 resolved)
  • AMP Superannuation Limited (193 complaints, 99 resolved)
  • Nulis Nominees (Australia) Limited, including DPM Retirement Service, MLC Pooled Superannuation Trust, MLC Super Fund, MLC Superannuation Fund, and Premiumchoice Retirement Service (159 complaints, 61 resolved)
  • Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd (140 complaints, 53 resolved)
  • OnePath Custodians Pty Limited (83 complaints, 25 resolved)

Credit companies received 44 per cent of all complaints.

The big number of complaints has resulted in AFCA creating a new position – lead ombudsman-systemic issues and remediation – to investigate 50 systemic issues in the banking and financial system.

AFCA chief and chief ombudsman David Locke said: “Our systemic issues work gives us the opportunity to help financial firms fix issues that cause complaints and prevent more from occurring. It also helps raise industry standards and prevents harm to consumers.

“The creation of the new position of lead ombudsman-systemic issues and remediation demonstrates that we take our role in identifying and resolving systemic issues very seriously.

“In the last 12 months, AFCA has identified and resolved 167 definite systemic issues. We also referred 30 possible serious contraventions to regulators.”

AFCA is currently recruiting a lead ombudsman to tackle inherent problems in superannuation, investments and advice.

Do you have a complaint about your super fund?

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11th Nov 2019
It would be more useful if the above list showed the number of complaints as a percentage of the number of members.
11th Nov 2019
Good point 54-11 – it should be noted that AustralianSuper has around 2.2million members, so not a bad ratio of complaints vs accounts, really!
11th Nov 2019
I was thinking the same with the banks. I do not know how many individual accounts there are, but I would guess something around 12 million. As I pointed out recently. The RCs are inquiring into and get responses about bad behaviour, and that could well give a distorted view of the overall experiences, whether it is financial institutions or aged care.
Horace Cope
11th Nov 2019
Simple question, simple answer. No.
11th Nov 2019
At least we have super won by the labor parliament
11th Nov 2019
I have found Australian super great?.I had a lot of trouble with Retail funds run by the banks but you expect that.
11th Nov 2019
I have had both retail and industry funds are they were not preforming so I set up my own and it's the best thing I ever did now.
11th Nov 2019
I have had both retail and industry funds are they were not preforming so I set up my own and it's the best thing I ever did now.
ex PS
12th Nov 2019
My Industry fund allows me to invest in the products I want to. There is no reason to go through the expense and time involved in setting up my own.
I have a choice of low risk Balanced Options, Cash Funds, Australian Shares, International Shares, Bonds or even Socially Responsible Shares.
I believe most people that get bad results from Industry Funds do so because they don't understand how to manage them.
I attended a seminar on Self Managed Funds and for me, it seemed like a lot of expense and effort for a questionable, marginal better result.
But, if that is how people wish to spend there time good for them.
11th Nov 2019
Went to Australia super for advise in Collins st, was told to ring a number while I was in there Office Block as they don,t want personal contact, and given a phone no and was speaking to someone from India have since gone to another Super Fund
13th Nov 2019
Opt out insurance is a scam.i got caught because as it was not expected the super company knew I was a pensioner on work allowance ,would I have got 2000 a month if I wasn’t working,NO I would not I receive the pension,9 months before I discovered this , refund nope I should have ticked the opt out,that was never brought to my attention , I know my fault but they knew I was on pension so in my it is and always will be a scam
17th Nov 2019
The founder of Vanguard said ‘You get what you don’t pay for’ when it comes to Managed funds & the associated fees.
Select a good low cost super fund (in my case it was HostPlus) and keep we’ll clear of the Retail funds

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