Home » How to lodge a complaint against a bank/financial firm.
Written by: Eloise Turnbull, Litigation Solicitor & Carmen Sauvage, Law Clerk

Do you have a complaint about a financial firm you engaged or been involved with? If so, we can help.


Who is the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)?

AFCA is a not-for-profit organisation that acts as an impartial party to help individuals such as businesses and consumers address complaints they may have against Australian financial firms.


What are the steps you need to take before making a complaint to the AFCA?

Prior to making a complaint to AFCA, there are a number of steps that need to be satisfied before your complaint will be considered.


  1. Do you have an eligible complaint?

For AFCA to consider your complaint it must fit within their jurisdiction. If your complaints relates to credit products, finance facilities, loans, banking deposits/payments, insurance policies, superannuation, investments or financial advice you may be able to lodge a complaint with AFCA. Additionally, the financial firm your complaint relates to must be a member of AFCA.


  1. Have you made a complaint to the financial firm the complaint relates to?

Before lodging with AFCA, you should have made a complaint to the financial firm your complaint relates to. Please consider the relevant firm’s complaints process and discuss directly with the financial firm.


  1. Do you have all the documentation relating to the complaint?

Prior to lodging your complaint with AFCA ensure you have all documentation related to the complaint.


  1. Utilise the AFCA online complaints form – https://www.afca.org.au/make-a-complaint

AFCA has an online form that needs to be filled out for a complaint to be lodged with their organisation. Follow all instructions on the AFCA website and the online complaints form to ensure your complaint is lodged correctly.


  1. Look out for correspondence from AFCA

Once you have lodged your complaint online, you will receive a receipt noting that AFCA has received your complaint. AFCA will designate a case manager to the complaint and the information in the complaint form will be evaluated. If AFCA requires any further documentation or information, they will contact you directly.


  1. Be available to engage in communication with AFCA and the financial firm regarding the complaint

Lodging a complaint with AFCA requires the complainant and the financial firm to communicate with each other. This will be supported and assisted by your designated case manager who will aim to achieve a resolution.


  1. Review the decision made by AFCA

AFCA will provide a decision to all parties involved in the complaint and if accepted by the complainant the relevant financial firm will be legally required to comply with the decision.

If the complainant rejects the decision, seek legal advice from Greenhalgh Pickard.


Time limitations:

In most cases, any eligible AFCA complaints will need to be made within 6 years from the date you become aware of or should have reasonably become aware of your loss or complaint. If a complaint has been lodged through the relevant financial firm and the financial firm’s internal dispute resolution process has responded to your complaint, in most cases, you will have 2 years from the date you received a response to make a complaint to the AFCA.


Need support and guidance?

A solicitor can assist you through the above process and provide guidance on how to correctly follow all required steps in making a complaint to AFCA. If you need support in making a complaint to that AFCA or reject an AFCA decision, our experienced solicitors here at Greenhalgh Pickard can help you.


The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of a professional. This information does not consider your personal circumstances and may not reflect the most current legal developments. Should you need advice, please contact our firm for targeted information relating to personal your situation.