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Late-2018 start for financial watchdog

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is expected to hear its first complaints against banks and financial services by November.

Legislation to establish the new financial services watchdog has already passed the Senate and is currently being debated in the lower house, where the government has the numbers to see it through.

Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer told parliament on Tuesday that she intends the authority to be ready to accept complaints no later than November 1.

"Given the crucial nature and role of the financial sector, Australians expect high standards from financial institutions," Ms O'Dwyer said.

"Where these expectations are not met and consumers wrongfully suffer loss it is critical that those who have been wronged have access to redress in a timely manner."

AFCA will hear complaints from consumers and small businesses. All financial firms, including superannuation funds will be required to be members.

The proposed one-stop shop was introduced before the government agreed to establish the banking royal commission, something shadow treasurer Chris Bowen was quick to point out.

"They've tried all these things, all these tricks to try and avoid a royal commission and of course they were dragged kicking and screaming into holding a royal commission at the end," he said.

Royal commission hearings began on Monday.

Debate on the bill is continuing.