New Internal Dispute Resolution Regime

AFA News 8 October 2021. 5 October 2021 marked the commencement of the new Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) regime, which is set out in ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 271.  RG 271.27 defines a complaint as follows:

[An expression] of dissatisfaction made to or about an organization, related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.

You cannot disregard a complaint even when it is made verbally or where you believe it lacks merit.

The new IDR regime also expects financial firms to record complaints made on social media platforms where they meet the definition in RG 271.27 and where the complainant is identifiable and contactable.

It is important to understand that many of the requirements of the new IDR regime are enforceable provisions. This means that a failure to comply with these requirements is considered a breach of the law. These enforceable provisions are clearly shown in RG 271.

Key Changes in the New IDR Regime – RG 271

Some of the key changes in the new IDR regime are as follows:

  • You should acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 24 hours.
  • You must provide a final response within 30 calendar days, as opposed to the previous requirement of 45 days.
  • In limited circumstances, where resolution is particularly complex and circumstances beyond the control of the firm are causing a delay, you are allowed additional time.
  • Complaints that are closed within five days do not require a formal response, however, they do need to be recorded in the complaint register.
  • Enhanced complaints governance arrangements, including with respect to systemic issues, culture, resourcing and reporting.
  • Ultimately reporting to ASIC on IDR complaints will become a requirement. This is being trialled later this year.

Issued 08.10.2021. AFA Policy & Education Update