The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is coming to Maitland on Wednesday to offer free financial fairness checks and raise awareness of financial dispute resolution services.
AFCA is a non-government, one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses with complaints about financial firms, including banks, credit and insurance organisations, investments, financial advice and superannuation. It will bring its roaming support centre to Stockland Green Hills from 9am - 5.30pm.
It is AFCA's first face-to-face financial complaint guidance since it launched in November 2018 and will help the authority better understand the financial issues faced by Maitland locals.
In its first 11 months of operation, AFCA has received more than 260 financial complaints from the Maitland area and awarded more than $1.28 million in compensation.
However, recent research shows that fewer than one out of every two people with a concern about their financial firm actually lodge a complaint. The roadshow aims to help address Australia's low awareness of how to resolve a dispute with banks, insurers or financial firms.
The national roadshow will visit more than 80 metropolitan, regional and rural communities across Australia, between September and April - Maitland will be the 29th stop.
Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer, David Locke said hearing from regional communities would also help AFCA improve its own processes and services.
"When people run into an issue with their financial provider, many don't know they can actually make a formal complaint and get it fixed," he said.
"If it's something you've felt strongly enough to complain about to your friends and family, chances are you have a case to pursue.
"We're eager to hear from the locals of Maitland first-hand about their financial complaints and any issues they've encountered resolving issues with their financial firm.
"These valuable insights will help us reach fair outcomes and drive change across the industry."