Shail Singh named AFCA’s Lead Ombudsman, Investments and Advice
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has appointed Shail Singh as its new Lead Ombudsman, Investments and Advice.
The AFCA board confirmed his appointment after a competitive selection process. Mr Singh had been acting in the role.
“Shail brings deep and diverse experience to this role, having worked in dispute resolution for over a decade and having been a financial planner himself,” AFCA’s Deputy Chief Ombudsman Dr June Smith said.
“He is a respected specialist in investments and advice complaints, in areas such as financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency and stockbroking.
“Shail has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders, among other things initiating a financial advice liaison group and a cryptocurrency liaison group,” Dr Smith noted.
Mr Singh is a lawyer by profession and worked both as an in-house legal counsel and for regulators including WorkSafe Victoria and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria. He then trained and worked as a financial planner before becoming a case manager with an AFCA predecessor, the Financial Ombudsman Scheme, in 2010. He was appointed as an Ombudsman when AFCA opened its doors in November 2018, becoming Senior Ombudsman, Investments and Advice, in 2021.
He stepped in as acting Lead Ombudsman in January 2022 when his predecessor, Natalie Cameron, became Lead Ombudsman for Banking and Finance.
“I’m extremely excited to be appointed to this role,” Mr Singh said. “I’m looking forward to continuing my work with firms to prevent disputes, and to being involved in improving our systems and processes to deliver an even better dispute resolution service that is transparent, timely, efficient and above all fair.”
AFCA is the ombudsman service for the financial services sector, handling complaints in four areas: banking and finance, investments and advice, insurance, and superannuation. In addition, a dedicated small business ombudsman oversees complaints from small business.
The five lead ombudsmen are responsible for AFCA’s approach to decision making in their respective areas. Together they head teams totalling more than 100 ombudsmen and adjudication panel members. AFCA’s other Lead Ombudsmen are Natalie Cameron (Banking and Finance), Suanne Russell (Small Business), Emma Curtis (Insurance) and Heather Gray (Superannuation).
AFCA is on track to register about 100,000 complaints in the 2022-23 financial year and has secured $1 billion for complainants since inception in November 2018.
About AFCA – The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent dispute resolution to individual consumers and small businesses when they are not able to resolve complaints directly with financial firms in banking and finance, insurance, investments and advice, and superannuation. AFCA aims to help the parties reach agreement, but it can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.