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GRC Professional : GRC Summer 2013
30 GRC Professional • Summer 2013 Q&A Financial Service Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis What have been the most pressing issues for your office in 2012? The nature of what we do at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is always challenging. In the last two years, our job has certainly grown as our membership base has more than tripled to 16,822 financial service providers, and the industry has faced major challenges in the form of growing financial difficulty among consumers and significant natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and fires. This has seen the number of disputes coming to FOS grow from 23,790 in 2009/10 to 36,099 in 2011/12. Over that same period, disputes involving financial difficulty have more than tripled, so we believe it will continue to be a major challenge for us and the industry this year. What are the biggest issues facing the Financial Ombudsman Service this year? A key issue for FOS in the year ahead is how we continue to improve delivery of our core dispute resolution service and meet growing demand. With such strong growth in dispute volumes, it's an imperative that we continue to grow a nd develop ou r capacity to handle disputes. It's challenging, with many dimensions. Maintaining the quality and timeliness of dispute resolution is critical. At the same time, we need to ensure that we are providing a fair service to consumers and financial service providers. An important part of that is having strong relationships with all our stakeholders, which will be a major focus for us in the coming year. We're also continuing to increase our sophistication in electronic enablement, such as providing members with more self- service capabilities to track and report on disputes and for consumers to lodge their disputes with us online. Outline for us the structural changes made at FOS under your helm, and how you expect they will make your office more effective. When I joined FOS in September 2011, the organisation was right in the thick of a significant period of growth and had become a much larger, more complex orga nisation, operating in a more demanding environment than when it began in 2008. While it was Shane Tregillis was a commissioner at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) before taking the reins as Chief Ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service in September 2011. He has more than 20 years' experience in senior regulatory roles in Australia and Singapore.
GRC Spring 2012
GRC Autumn 2013