Commonwealth Bank media release


Commonwealth Bank today announces Promontory Financial Group as the Independent Expert for the Open Advice Review program.

The Independent Expert will review the processes of the Open Advice Review program and provide transparency by periodically reporting the outcomes of the program publicly.

Dr Jeff Carmichael AO, Chief Executive Officer of Promontory Financial Australasia, will lead the global Independent Expert team. Mr Carmichael was the inaugural Chairman of APRA and a member of the Wallis Inquiry into the Australian financial system. He had a 20-year career with the Reserve Bank of Australia, served for seven years as Professor of finance at Bond University and was formerly Chairman of the Australian Financial Institutions Commission and the Queensland Office of Financial Supervision.

Other Promontory executives who will play key roles in this assignment include Eugene Ludwig, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Promontory Financial Group, and The Hon Mary Schapiro who is currently the Vice Chair of Promontory’s Advisory Board.

Mr Ludwig served under President Clinton as U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, the head of the federal agency responsible for supervising the majority of U.S. banking assets.

Ms Schapiro served as the 29th chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 2009 – 2012, and oversaw the implementation of comprehensive new financial regulations, aimed to improve protections for investors.

Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Bank, Mr Ian Narev said the Open Advice Review program will give support and comfort to those who want their advice reviewed.

“Jeff Carmichael, Eugene Ludwig and Mary Shapiro are all recognised as international experts on structure, design and effectiveness of regulatory process. Their monitoring and periodic reporting is crucial in delivering a program that will provide comfort and assurance to customers and others that the program is delivering an efficient, fair and consistent outcome.”

“The appointment of Promontory Financial Group, following the appointment of retired High Court Justice Ian Callinan AC as Chairman of the Independent Review Panel, is a further practical demonstration of our commitment to an independent process for our customers.”

Further details about the Open Advice Review program will be announced soon.

About the Open Advice Review program

Commonwealth Bank's Open Advice Review program is designed to deliver an efficient, fair and consistent outcome for any customer of Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom who may have received poor financial advice between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012.  The program is as follows:

1. Free assessment of previous advice by a specialist Commonwealth Bank team. In conducting the review the specialist team will share the information it has available with the customer and will invite the customer to provide information that the customer has available. There will also be an independent forensic expert to address any concerns about improper documents;

2. Once the assessment is complete the customer will receive that assessment and the offer of an independent customer advocate funded by the Commonwealth Bank;

3. A customer who does not agree or is concerned with the assessment will have the option of a further review by an Independent Review Panel, led by The Hon Ian Callinan AC, which will review individual cases and determine whether compensation is payable and, if so, how much;

4. Commonwealth Bank will be bound by the outcome of the Panel’s determination. However, the customer will not be bound and will still have the option of taking the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service or pursuing a claim in respect of the matter; and

5. Commonwealth Bank will also have the process overseen by the Independent Expert who will make their periodic reports public.

Customer registration for the Open Advice Review program is open by calling 1800 507 281 or visiting





Kate Abrahams
T: (02) 9118 6919