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Key decisions

  • Agriwealth Capital Ltd v AFCA Ltd [2023] FCAFC 118


Australian Financial Complaints Authority Limited (‘AFCA’) determined a complaint was partially within its rules – appellants contended AFCA did not have jurisdiction to determine complaint

Agriwealth Capital Ltd v AFCA Ltd [2023] FCAFC 118 (Perry, Downes and Kennett JJ)

AgriWealth Capital Limited (‘ACL’) and Australian Forestry Management Limited (‘AFM’) brought an appeal from AgriWealth Capital Limited v Australian Financial Complaints Authority Limited [2022] FCA 1336.

The respondents were Australian Financial Complaints Authority Limited (‘AFCA’) and Mr Steven Kirby. Mr Kirby did not take an active role in the appeal or in the proceedings below.

AFCA operates a dispute resolution scheme for financial services. Financial services licensees are required to be AFCA members under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (‘Corporations Act’).

ACL held an Australian Financial Services Licence (‘AFSL’) which authorised it to carry on a financial services business including operating certain managed investment schemes (‘Schemes’).

AFM did not hold an AFSL and was not a member of AFCA.

Mr Kirby was an investor in the managed investment schemes operated by ACL. These schemes were affected by bushfires in 2019-2020 and Mr Kirby received invoices from AFM for various costs and fees relating to rehabilitation and other works required to be done as a consequence of the bushfires.

In July 2020, Mr Kirby complained to AFCA in relation to ‘Investments’. In his complaint, he claimed he had been invoiced for fees and charges contrary to representations made in the schemes’ product disclosure statement (at [12]).

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