According to its most recent update to its Datacube covering complaints lodged from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, consumer loans topped the list, with 278 complaints (17.18 per cent) progressing to AFCA’s case management stage.
Following that was account administration complaints relating to superannuation with 221 complaints (13.66 per cent), managed investments with 195 complaints (12.05 per cent) and credit cards with 183 complaints (11.31 per cent).
In releasing the data, AFCA chief executive and chief ombudsman David Locke said the early impact of COVID-19 can be seen in the spikes in complaints relating to travel insurance and early access to superannuation in particular.
“With so many travel plans impacted, it was inevitable that there would be a big increase in travel insurance claims as well as disputes regarding ‘chargeback’ requests on credit cards,” Mr Locke said.
“With the early access to superannuation, complaints initially related to delays in payments. It was challenging for many superannuation funds to process such a high number of requests in a short period of time. AFCA worked proactively with the funds to resolve consumer concerns as they arose and to learn any lessons before the second phase of withdrawal requests commenced in early July 2020.
“This resulted in far fewer complaints during the second early release application period and it meant consumers were able to get their money sooner.”
Mr Locke also commended the banks for also responding positively to unprecedented numbers of requests for loan repayment deferrals.
“The banks have committed to being fair and reasonable in dealings with consumers and to tailor solutions to their individual needs. It’s never a good idea to ignore calls and contact from your bank or lender,” Mr Locke said.