Financial woes add up in Wyndham

Across the financial year, AFCA received 70,510 complaints, Picture: Micheile/ Unsplash License

Residents from two Wyndham postcodes have lodged more than 1000 complaints with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) across 12 months.

AFCA, a not-for-profit agency, acts as an ombudsman to help consumers and small businesses resolve issues with financial firms.

People living in the 3029 postcode, which covers Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina, submitted 504 complaints to AFCA during the 2020-21 financial year.

This placed 3029 at third-highest on the list of Australian postcodes from where AFCA received complaints during the timeframe.

Residents of 3030, which includes Werribee, Point Cook and Werribee South, lodged 501 complaints with AFCA – coming in at fourth-highest in the nation.

The 2260 postcode in New South Wales’ Central Coast lodged the highest amount of complaints (908 in total), followed by the 2000 postcode in central Sydney with 678 complaints.

Across the financial year, AFCA received 70,510 complaints regarding banking and finance, investments and advice, superannuation, life insurance and general insurance.

AFCA’s chief ombudsman and chief executive, David Locke, said 56 per cent of all complaints were resolved in under two months.

By six months, 90 per cent of all complaints were resolved.

“This result demonstrates that AFCA is achieving its purpose in being faster and cheaper for consumers and firms compared to an alternative such as a court or tribunal,” Mr Locke said.

“We also saw that over 70 per cent of cases were resolved in the early stages of AFCA’s process with an agreement being reached between the complainant and firm or an outcome in favour of the complainant, without the need to progress the case to an ombudsman for a formal decision.”

Mr. Locke said AFCA was continuing to see a high number of cases where consumers – in particular, indigenous Australians – believed they had been misled into buying funeral plans.

In the last 15 months, AFCA received 260 complaints about funeral plans, more than half of them from people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

As a result, AFCA has awarded $700,000 in refunds and compensation in cases involving funeral plans.

Details: contact AFCA through or call 1800 931 678 from 9am–5pm on weekdays.