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David Locke leaves ACNC to lead new financial complaints authority

ACNC Assistant Commissioner, David Locke, will move on from the charity regulatory body

The Assistant Commissioner for Australia’s national charities regulator, David Locke, has been named as the first Chief Ombudsman and CEO of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Locke, who is currently still working with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), will lead the finance sector’s new watchdog, which was set up by the federal government in response to banking industry scandals, from June 25.

Chair of the Board of AFCA, Helen Coonan, said Locke has a strong track record as an experienced senior leader, adding: “His appointment comes at a critical time in the formation of AFCA as the new single complaints body for the financial sector.”

AFCA will replace the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and the new body will manage complaint resolutions for the financial sector.

Locke said that with the establishment of the AFCA, the regulatory body will “deliver fair, accessible and high-quality dispute resolution services” for consumers, small businesses and the financial institutions that are required to be members.

“I am incredibly excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to lead AFCA, work with Helen, the Board and the staff from the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.”

Locke also added: “It is critical that there are effective mechanisms in place to deal with disputes across the entire financial services industry and I will be working to ensure that the public can have full trust and confidence in the new organisation.”

Prior to being appointed as Assistant Commissioner of the ACNC, Locke was the Chief Advisor to the ACNC Taskforce. He has played a key role in establishing the ACNC and managing key functions of the governing body operations since 2012.

Locke was also the former Executive Director of Charity Services at the Charity Commission of England and Wales, an advisor to several international governments on the regulation of non-government organisations and qualified as a lawyer in the UK. He has also served as a board member for a number of not-for-profits.

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