5 May 2016
Media Release - #2016054, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

New independent expert panel

The Turnbull government is today announcing the new independent expert panel to lead the review into the financial system’s external dispute resolution and complaints framework, Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer MP said.

“I am pleased to announce the expert panel will be chaired by Professor Ian Ramsay, with Mr Alan Kirkland and Ms Julie Abramson as members,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“As announced last month, the Government is commissioning a review on the role, powers, governance and accountability of the existing financial system external dispute resolution and complaints framework.

“Currently, there are three bodies to help consumers resolve disputes with financial services providers: the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS); Superannuation Complaints Tribunal; and Credit & Investments Ombudsman. The Government is committed to ensuring that these bodies are working as effectively as possible to meet the needs of users.

“The expert panel brings a wealth of regulatory, consumer and legal experience to the review and will provide a final report to the Government by the end of 2016.

“In undertaking the review, the expert panel will consult with industry, the dispute resolution and complaints schemes, peak bodies, regional and consumer representatives and other stakeholders.

“Concurrently with this independent review, I have asked ASIC to undertake a review of FOS’s small business jurisdiction. The review will take into consideration, and consult with ASIC on, their consideration of this related issue.

“This review builds on the Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry which set out a broad ranging suite of policies to improve our financial system,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

Biographies of expert panel members

Professor Ian Ramsay – Chair

Ian is Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Melbourne; is a member of the Law Council of Australia and currently serves on its Corporations Law Committee.

Ian has extensive experience as an expert consultant to government reviews and as a member of government advisory committees.

Ms Julie Abramson – Panel member

Julie is a lawyer with over 20 years regulatory experience at both Federal and State levels and was appointed as a part time Commissioner at the Productivity Commission in December 2015.

Julie has particular expertise in financial services regulation and competition policy, including as a previous member of the Banking Code of Practice’s Compliance Committee.

Mr Alan Kirkland – Panel member

Alan has been the CEO of Choice for the past three-and-a-half years and has extensive experience in consumer advocacy.

Alan will bring a strong consumer focus to the review and help ensure it delivers on the Government’s commitment to improve outcomes for consumers.