It is important to us that you are satisfied with our services. If you have a complaint, you should initially discuss your concerns with your Adviser, or direct them to the Compliance Manager.
Your complaint will be lodged in our Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) Register and we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 24 hours (or one business day) of receiving it. This acknowledgment can be done verbally or in writing, and it may be done immediately if your complaint is given by telephone or in person.
If we have provided you with an explanation and or apology, and we can take no further action to reasonably address your complaint, or the complaint has been resolved to your complete satisfaction by the end of the 5th business day after your complaint was received, and you did not request a response in writing, the matter will be taken to be resolved.
Should this not be the case, as soon as possible, but within 30 calendar days of receipt of your complaint, the responsible person will examine the matter and provide you with a comprehensive and fair account of the complaint or dispute, and our responsibilities in an effort to resolve the matter, unless it is a superannuation related complaint (including life insurance issued through superannuation and death benefits) and traditional trustee complaints, then we will respond within 45 days of receipt of your complaint.
If you are not satisfied or you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you can contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Guardian is a member of AFCA, who are an independent complaints service. Members of AFCA include life insurers, fund managers, financial planners, stockbrokers and investment advisers. AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free to consumers.
If you are still not satisfied after following the above process, as Guardian Associates is a member of an external dispute resolution service, you can refer the matter to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free to consumers. They can be contacted by phone on 1800 931 678, in writing at GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001 or email@example.com. Further information can be sourced from their website – afca.org.au.
AFCA will try and help both parties reach agreement on a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, AFCA may investigate further and issue a final determination. This final decision is binding on Guardian. This means that if you accept the decision, Guardian must also accept it. However, if you do not agree with the final decision, you do not have to accept it.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) also has a free call info line on 1300 300 630 which you may use to make a complaint and obtain information about your rights.
For your reference, attached is our complaints handling procedures: Complaint Management Policy – Guardian Associates – Version 5.1 10.2021.