Complaints Handling Policy
AB is committed to a culture in which complaints are acknowledged, addressed and handled in line with industry best practices. AB acknowledges that everybody has a right to lodge a complaint. Effective complaints management can enhance customer satisfaction by creating a customer-focused environment that is open to feedback and continuous improvement, thereby enhancing AB’s delivery of financial services.
The purpose of this policy is to detail AB’s framework for complaints resolution. It describes the guiding principles that AB has adopted for complaints handling and details how you can raise a complaint with AB.
A complaint, as defined by Australian/New Zealand Standard: Guidelines for Complaint Management in Organisations (AS/NZS ISO 10002: 2006), is an “expression of dissatisfaction made to an organisation, related to its products, or the complaints-handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected”.
Despite AB’s best efforts, complaints may arise, and they will be handled in a prompt, thorough and professional manner. The following guiding principles will be adhered to in handling all complaints:
Customer-Focused Approach: AB recognises that complainants have a right to complain. AB will ensure effective, respectful and confidential handling of all complaints received. As part of AB’s commitment to resolving complaints, all complaints will be promptly investigated. AB’s Complaints Officer will be advised of all complaints received and provide oversight on the resolution of all complaints.
Responsiveness: All complaints received will be acknowledged to the complainant as soon as possible and within two business days. Complaints will be triaged upon receipt by relevant management, allowing complaints to be managed in accordance with the assessed severity. All efforts will be undertaken to promptly and efficiently resolve complaints. Complainants will be kept apprised of progress through the course of a complaint resolution, and all complainants will receive a final response to the complaint within 45 days.
Objectivity and Fairness: Handling of complaints will be unbiased and objective. Management and the Complaints Officer will assess and address any potential conflicts of interest that may arise around specific staff handling a complaint.
Charges and No Detriment to Complainants: Access to the complaints process and all associated handling of a complaint will be provided free of charge to complainants. AB will take all reasonable steps to ensure complainants are not adversely affected because of a complaint having being made.
Accessibility and Visibility: A copy of this policy will be provided to each complainant. AB recognises that complainants may request that an organisation or other party assist or represent the complainant in lodging a complaint; AB will accept complaints from authorised representatives of complainants.
IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT, WHOM SHOULD YOU REFER IT TO?
We have established procedures for dealing with complaints.
You may contact your AB adviser or the AB Complaints Officer about your complaint. If you are an Indirect Investor, you may also contact your IDPS operator with your complaint. If you are under the advice of a financial adviser, you may also contact your financial adviser with your complaint.
You should contact the AB Complaints Officer at any time if you require any assistance in lodging your complaint.
IF YOU LODGE A COMPLAINT WITH US, WHAT SHOULD YOU PROVIDE?
You may communicate your complaint via phone or in writing. When lodging a complaint, you should provide us with a description of the complaint, the product involved in the complaint, copies of any documentation that supports your complaint (where possible), and details of the remedy you are seeking. You should retain a copy of your complaint and supporting documentation. In order for AB to correspond with you in respect of the complaint, please ensure you provide your current contact details (such a current postal address, email, fax and contact telephone numbers). If a person is acting on your behalf with the complaint, please include their contact details.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU LODGE YOUR COMPLAINT WITH US?
Once we receive your complaint, we will acknowledge receipt as soon as possible, and in any case, within two business days.
Our Complaints Officer will promptly initiate an investigation into the complaint. We will keep you apprised of its progress through the course of a complaint resolution. Within 45 days from the receipt of your complaint, we will provide you with a written response outlining the final outcome of your complaint. Should we anticipate not being able to provide you with the written response within this time frame, we will notify you of the reasons for the delay and a new date by when you can expect to receive our written response.
Your complaint will also be logged in our internal complaints register, escalated to senior management as required, and reported within AB in accordance with AB’s complaints procedures. Periodic reviews of complaints lodged with AB is undertaken to identify any potential trends or underlying issues and to identify enhancements to the complaints framework itself.
WHAT IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH THE OUTCOME?
If, despite our best efforts, you are not satisfied with the complaints handling process or AB’s resolution of your complaint, you may take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”). AB are a member of FOS, an ASIC approved external dispute resolution scheme who provide free advice and assistance in resolving disputes between consumers and financial service providers. You may contact FOS at:
Complaints Handling Policy as of September 2018