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AFCA sticks with 'constructive' approach as regulatory changes kick in

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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) says it will work “constructively” with the insurance industry, following the start this month of new internal dispute resolution obligations as set out by the corporate regulator.

The Australian and Securities Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulatory guide, RG 271, establishes new standards and requirements for how all financial firms will need to deal with consumer complaints.

Key changes in RG 271 include an expanded definition of “complaints”, a shorter timeframe to resolve a dispute from 45 to 30 days, and new reporting obligations.

“We look forward to continuing to work constructively with insurers as they adapt to the new dispute resolution framework under ASIC’s RG 271,” Lead Ombudsman Insurance Emma Curtis told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

She says RG 271 and other key regulatory changes that took effect this month “are aimed at further improving protections for consumers of insurance”.

“AFCA will continue to focus on independent, timely, and fair dispute resolution as these reforms come into play and as insurers respond to the changing environment,” Ms Curtis said.

“We’ll provide information about our approach to key issues as needed.”