IFSO Scheme’s Independent Review 2023 now available

Every 5 years, the IFSO Scheme is required to conduct a public independent review of its complaints handling processes.

Media release 5 July 2024

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme's Independent Review is now available online.

The 2023 Review was conducted by Professor John McMillan AO, and focused on the principles of independence and fairness.

The Review was very positive, with Prof McMillan noting that the IFSO Scheme is highly regarded by all stakeholders, particularly for its professionalism, transparency, expertise, rigour and balance:

Without exception, people spoke highly of the IFSO Scheme and its professionalism. Strengths and qualities of the IFSO Scheme that were frequently mentioned were: it acts professionally; is widely respected for its expertise, rigour and balance; is approachable, transparent and pragmatic in how it handles cases; and it works collaboratively with all stakeholders.”

The principle of Independence is a government accreditation criterion for dispute resolution schemes. The Review found that compliance with this principle is firmly rooted in how the IFSO Scheme is constituted and operates.

The principle of Fairness is another accreditation criterion. The Review found the IFSO Scheme practised fairness both in its processes and decision outcomes.

The Review was considered in the context of current legislative developments, including MBIE’s financial services reforms, the applicable monetary limits increase, and the proposed merger of the IFSO Scheme with Financial Services Complaints Limited in 2025.

In light of the proposed merger, Professor McMillan has not made any formal recommendations for the IFSO Scheme in the Review; rather, he has framed the contextual issues as matters for consideration.

Sue Suckling, IFSO Scheme Chair, has welcomed the Review.

“Prof McMillan’s Review has highlighted the positive regard for the way in which the IFSO Scheme operates, and the sound approach the Scheme has to the principles of independence and fairness. Other comments in the Review give good insight into how we might incorporate the changing dynamics in the economy and the environment, and the current government’s interest in reforming aspects of the financial sector”, she says.

View the report here.


Media contact

Sarah Smythe
IFSO Scheme Communications Manager
021 292 4036