Complaints Handling Policy
1.1 A key obligation of section 912A Corporations Act is that all Australian Financial Services Licensees must have an internal dispute resolution procedure that complies with standards, and requirements, made or approved by ASIC with regard to retail clients. For its retail clients, Ellerston Capital Limited (ECL) is also required to comply with:
a. ASIC Regulatory Guide 165 “Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution” for all complaints received before 5 October 2021; and
b. ASIC Regulatory Guide 271 “Internal Dispute Resolution” for all complaints received on or after 5 October 2021.
1.2 ECL has developed internal dispute resolution procedures which it believes are appropriate for ECL having regard to:
a. the size of the business;
b. the financial services offered by the business;
c. the nature of the customer base; and
d. the likely number and complexity of complaints.
1.3 This Policy applies to all complaints received by ECL and has been developed to align with ASIC Regulatory Guide 271 “Internal Dispute Resolution” and the requirement for ECL to have a publicly available complaints policy on its website.
2. What is a complaint and how to complain
2.1 A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about ECL about its products, service offered or provided, staff or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.
2.2 A complaint may be made verbally or in writing in any of the following ways:
a. by phone to the Client Service team on +612 9021 7701;
b. by post to Ellerston Capital Limited, Level 11, 179 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000;
c. by email to an ECL representative or to the Client Service team on firstname.lastname@example.org
d. via ECL’s online contact form at https://ellerstoncapital.com/contact/
e. in person to an ECL representative; and
f. via posts on a social media channel or account owned or controlled by us, where the complainant is identifiable and contactable.
2.3 ECL’s complaint process is available with no fees or charges.
2.4 A complaint may be distinguished from:
a. A general inquiry (e.g. the client is seeking information);
b. An expression of dissatisfaction regarding a matter which is outside the control of ECL (e.g. market conditions or investment performance); and
c. Administrative queries (e.g. queries on payments or distributions, lost or mislaid cheques) unless raised on several occasions and the circumstances indicate there may be a systemic problem, in which case the query should be referred to Compliance.
3. Commitment to resolution
3.1 ECL recognises the benefits provided by dealing with complaints internally including:
a. The ability to resolve complaints quickly and directly;
b. The ability to identify and address recurring and systemic problems leading to corresponding improvements in the service and products provided;
c. The capacity to provide solutions rather than have remedies imposed by independent third parties; an
d. The improved levels of consumer satisfaction.
Accordingly, where possible ECL will make all reasonable endeavours to resolve complaints internally.
4. Complainants rights
4.1 The complainant has the right to:
a. Be heard;
b. Have the complaint determined in a timely manner;
c. Know whether ECL policies and procedures have been followed;
d. Request and receive any material needed to support their complaint, including avenues for further independent review;
e. Have the complaint dealt with fairly and confidentially (where requested and appropriate); and
f. Escalate the complaint to an external dispute resolution scheme if they are not satisfied with ECL’s response.
5. Complaints process and timeframes
5.1 On receiving a complaint, the following actions will be undertaken within the stated timeframes:
a. acknowledge receipt of a complaint (verbally or in writing) promptly within 24 hours (or one business day) of receiving a complaint, or if not practicable, as soon as practicable;
b. investigate the complaint promptly after receipt of complaint;
c. provide a final response to the complainant no later than 30 calendar days after receiving the complaint;
d. Implement resolution and/or remediation (if required).
5.2 A final response to the complainant will inform the complainant about:
a. the final outcome of their complaint within the internal dispute resolution process;
b. the complainant’s right to go to the external dispute resolution scheme (AFCA) if the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint; and
c. name and contact details of the external dispute resolution scheme (AFCA) to which they can take their complaint.
5.3 If a complaint is particularly complex and/or circumstances beyond ECL’s control are causing delays and ECL is unable to respond to a complaint within 30 calendar days, ECL will, before the end of that period, notify the complainant about:
a. the reasons for the delay;
b. the complainant’s right to complain to external dispute resolution scheme (AFCA); and
c. the name and contact details of the relevant external dispute resolution scheme (AFCA) to which they can complain.
5.4 ECL does not need to provide a final response when a complaint is resolved to the complainant’s complete satisfaction by the end of the fifth business day after the complaint was received unless the complainant requests for a response in writing.
5.5 The timeframes set out in this Policy begin on the day that a complaint is received, regardless of whether the day of receipt is a business day. The timeframes do not include the day of receipt, therefore ‘Day 1’ is the first day after ECL has received the complaint.
6. Information provided to clients regarding ECL’s internal and external complaints resolution mechanisms
6.1 All Product Disclosure Statements to be issued by ECL will include a section identifying both the internal and external dispute resolution schemes available to members of the relevant fund who have complaints, in accordance with section 1013D of the Corporations Act.
6.2 ECL will have a publicly available and readily accessible complaints policy on ECL’s website.
7. Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
7.1 ECL is a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which is an external dispute resolution scheme approved by ASIC in accordance with the Corporations Act.
7.2 Complainants who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint have the right to go to AFCA, free of charge.
7.3 AFCA’s contact details are as follows:
Phone: 1800 931 678
Fax: +613 9613 6399
Mail: Australian Financial Complaints Authority
GPO Box 3
Melbourne VIC 3001