Commonwealth Bank media release


Commonwealth Bank today announces that retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Ian Callinan AC, has been appointed Chairman of the Independent Review Panel for the recently announced Open Advice Review program.  

The Independent Review Panel forms a key part of the Open Advice Review program, which is designed to deliver efficient, fair and consistent outcomes for any customers of Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom who may have received poor financial advice between September 2003 and July 2012.  

Mr Callinan’s appointment is effective immediately. His initial priority is to advise the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Bank, Mr Ian Narev, with respect to key design elements of the program to ensure it fulfils its primary objective of supporting affected customers and guaranteeing an independent review of their cases.  

Mr Callinan will also have input on appointments of other senior experts to the Independent Review Panel, who will be suitably qualified and equally independent people. Mr Callinan will then chair the Panel as it considers any unresolved customer cases through the duration of the program. 

For five decades Mr Callinan has served in many important roles concerning justice and equity for individuals in Australia and abroad. Prior to his decade as a Justice of the High Court of Australia, he was a renowned QC with an extensive practice across Australia. In January this year, Mr Callinan was appointed an ad hoc Judge of the International Court of Justice.

Mr Narev said he was pleased to announce this appointment, which underscores that the Open Advice Review program is about doing what is right for affected customers by giving support and comfort to those who want their advice reviewed and independently assessed.

“The Honourable Ian Callinan has demonstrated throughout his career an outstanding ability to understand complex problems from the perspective of their impact on the individual,” Mr Narev said.

“His approach to justice and his determination for clear speaking and fair outcomes will set the benchmark for the operation of the Open Advice Review program."

“The Independent Review Panel will provide comfort to customers that if they disagree with the assessment, then independent and esteemed experts will determine the right outcome to which the Bank will be bound.  Mr Callinan will also have a broad mandate to provide advice to me about the fair and effective operation of the program.”

“This appointment is crucial to ensure the independence and integrity of the process.”

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


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. The 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. We will also have the process overseen by an 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 visit





Kate Abrahams
Ph: (02) 9118 6919