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Australia’s 5 most complained-about financial products

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AFCA received a record 100,000 complaints in 2023.

Australians complained about more finance products than ever before in 2023, with peak regulator the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) hitting a new peak of 100,000 complaints.

These were the most complained-about products types in 2023:

Product Complaints% change
Personal transaction accounts16,02864%
Credit cards12,12433%
Comprehensive vehicle insurance9,56539%
Home building insurance8,073-8%
Home loans7,46117%

The regulator says that banks and other providers need to do more to handle common issues, since AFCA is only supposed to deal with issues that can't be handled by existing internal complaints processes.

"As an ombudsman service, we believe all firms could be doing a better job of handling complaints within their own internal complaints processes, so only the most complex cases reach AFCA – which is the role we are meant to play," chief ombudsman David Locke said.

AFCA's David Locke

AFCA's David Locke: "We believe all firms could be doing a better job of handling complaints." Image: AFCA/Supplied

Unsurprisingly, cost of living issues have also contributed to a rise in complaints. 78% of Australians feel extremely or somewhat stressed about their finances, according to Finder's Cost Of Living Pressure Gauge.

"We are also seeing the impact of increased interest rates and cost of living pressures, with complaints involving financial hardship also significantly higher," Locke said.

There was a big increase in consumers raising issues around security, with 8,987 complaints relating to scams, up 23% on the previous year.

Other regulators are increasingly focused on cost of living issues and the impact of misbehaviour in the finance sector.

The Banking Code Compliance Committee plans an inquiry into financial hardship this year. "It is imperative banks are prepared to support an increasing number of customers who may face financial difficulty with effective and sustainable solutions," the committee said.

ASIC has a focus on issues in superannuation for 2024.

AFCA took a total of 102,790 complaints from consumers in 2023. A total $304 million was paid to complainants whose issues were resolved.

Get more helpful money tips to help you save.

Image: @Van Krukau via Canva.com

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