Complaints about home loans increase by 20%

New data released today by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has shown that complaints about home loans have increased by 20 per cent in the last six months of 2019.

The data, which has been made freely available to the public through AFCA’s Datacube shows that between July and December last year, the financial services ombudsman received 2,201 complaints about home loans, that’s 367 per month, on average.

AFCA Chief Operating Officer Justin Untersteiner said that it was disappointing to see the increase but making the data available to the public was an important step in increasing transparency.

“Every six months, AFCA releases data which allows Australians to see how many complaints their insurer, bank, financial adviser, superannuation fund or other financial firm has received and how they have responded to those complaints,” Mr Untersteiner said.

“Rebuilding trust in the Australian financial services will be a long journey and one that requires effort across the entire sector.

“Transparency is key in this transformation and we have made significant changes in the way we report our data and decisions to make them more accessible to the public.

“There has been a dramatic increase in complaints about home loans. This increase has been driven by financial firms failing to respond to requests for assistance, the conversion of loans from interest only to principal and interest and issues with responsible lending.

“The data also shows that we are getting very few complaints about financial advice, just 30 per month, and complaints against debt buyers or collectors rose by just five per cent.

“Our hope by releasing this data is that we see improvements and the industry takes action to reduce the number of complaints that end up at AFCA.”

Key stats from the AFCA Datacube

Over the six months reported:

  • The most complained about product overall is credit cards with 2,748 complaints
  • The most complained about insurance product was home building insurance with 1,445 complaints
  • The most complained about superannuation issue was account administration with 1,129 complaints
  • The most complained about investment and advice product was derivatives, hedging and securities with 794 complaints

—ends—

/Public Release. View in full here.