Commonwealth Bank (the Group) has today finalised variations to the Australian Financial Services Licence conditions for Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) and Financial Wisdom Limited (FWL), as agreed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
On 16 May 2014, the Group announced that it had agreed with ASIC to contact more than 4,000 customers to inform them the advice they had previously received was subject to an internal review due to the fact their adviser had provided poor advice to some customers. The Group also agreed to offer these customers the support of a qualified adviser (i.e. a lawyer, accountant or financial adviser) to seek independent advice in relation to that review, with fees up to $5,000 being met by the Group. These conditions have now been finalised and will now commence.
The implementation of the varied licence conditions ensures all relevant customers are treated consistently. Extending the offer for independent advice further underscores our commitment to openness and transparency in any remediation for customers. An independent expert appointed by ASIC will oversee compliance with the varied licence conditions.
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.
All customers who will be contacted in this process are also eligible to register for the Open Advice Review program (OARp) which was announced by the Group on 3 July 2014.
For additional details: 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).
The advisers subject to the review under the varied licence conditions are no longer employed or authorised by the Group.
CFPL Enforceable Undertaking (EU)
These licence conditions are in addition to the CFPL EU that applied from 25 October 2011 until 25 October 2013. ASIC has stated that it has not identified problems with the actual file reviews completed nor with the amounts of compensation offered however these varied licence conditions are designed to ensure all identified customers are treated consistently and have the same opportunity for independent review.
Open Advice Review Program (OARp)
The OARp is the customer remediation program announced by the Commonwealth Bank on 3 July 2014 in respect of advice provided by CFPL and FWL during the period 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012. For further details on the OARp go to: http://www.commbank.com.au/openadvice.
(02) 9118 6919
(02) 9118 6919