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Commonwealth Bank media release

CFPL AND FWL VOLUNTEER AFS LICENCE CONDITIONS

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group (the Group) confirms that it has agreed to a variation to the Australian financial services licence conditions for Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) and Financial Wisdom Limited (FWL) with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

The Group notes it complied with the terms of the CFPL Enforceable Undertaking entered into on 25 October 2011. As detailed in the supplementary submission by ASIC on CFPL to the Senate Economics Reference Committee inquiry into the performance of ASIC (dated December 2013), the Independent Expert submitted a final report to ASIC on 25 October 2013. ASIC accepted the final report on 26 November 2013, which formally brought the Enforceable Undertaking to a close. We note ASIC’s statement that there are no identified issues with the file reviews conducted in the compensation process nor the amounts of compensation offered to customers.

The Group has also today provided additional clarity on its submissions to the Senate Economics Reference Committee inquiry into the performance of ASIC. This clarification notes that some of its remediation activity relates to former FWL financial advisers, as well as former CFPL financial advisers. It further notes that the offer to reimburse the cost of independent advice was not applied consistently.

As the Group has said on many occasions, it deeply regrets that a number of former CFPL and FWL advisers did not provide quality advice to some customers in the past. The Group has no tolerance for behaviour that prejudices the financial wellbeing of our customers. The Group has worked with affected customers to put things right, remediating them to the position they would have been in had they received appropriate advice.

CFPL is now a significantly transformed business. It has undergone structural, cultural and management changes, with robust systems and processes in place for the supervision and monitoring of advisers. The supervision and monitoring framework has also been applied to FWL.

What this means for CFPL and FWL customers
Customers impacted by this change will receive a letter from CFPL or FWL outlining the process and next steps, with details of an offer to pay up to $5,000 to qualified advisers for independent advice. In the meantime, if any of our customers are concerned, please contact CFPL on 1800 507 281 or FWL on 1800 508 169 (8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday).

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For further information, contact:

Zoe Viellaris
Executive Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Wealth Management
Mobile 0477 342 564