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Commonwealth Bank media release


Commonwealth Bank notes the release of Promontory Financial Group’s second report on the Open Advice Review program, which provides an update on the program’s overall progress. The report has acknowledged CBA’s ongoing efforts to provide fair and consistent outcomes for customers by ensuring appropriate governance, systems and processes are in place.  

This second report, which follows Promontory’s initial update published in December 2014, shows more than 22,000 customers have expressed interest in the program, with around 7,000 confirming they would like their advice assessed. Commonwealth Bank has also implemented a nationwide customer contact awareness campaign through the direct mail-out of letters to around 350,000 households as well as ongoing marketing of the program through national media and targeted community engagement.  

The report focuses on the pilot program which was designed by CBA to test the adequacy and robustness of processes that will be used for all customers participating in the program. The Open Advice Review program has now moved to its next stage of reviews. 

Promontory was appointed as the Independent Expert for the Open Advice Review program and as such will review the program’s processes with periodic reports on the program’s outcomes. Its initial report assessed the program’s build-phase, and provided an overview of its structure and independent processes. The next report will be released in September 2015. 

Promontory Financial Group’s second report can be viewed on Commonwealth Bank’s website.


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 or 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. Where required, McGrathNicol will provide Independent Forensic Expert advice;
  2. The customer will also receive an offer of an Independent Customer Advocate funded by the Commonwealth Bank;
  3. Customers who do not agree or are 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 its internal processes overseen by the Independent Expert Promontory Financial Group, led by Dr Jeff Carmichael AO, who will make their periodic reports public.
  6. Customer registration for the Open Advice Review program closes 3 July 2015. For more information, please call 1800 507 281 or visit

Media contact:

Zoe Viellaris
Wealth Management
Commonwealth Bank
Ph: 02 9118 6919