The Bank's response to the ASIC report on the Financial Planning Industry

11 June 2004

All of the Bank’s financial planners, both Bank-employed and aligned, clearly and effectively disclose all alternative forms of remuneration.

All fees and charges are stated clearly in our advice documentation including the Financial Services Guide and Statement of Advice. The Statement of Advice gives both percentage and dollar disclosure in line with ASIC’s policy statement on Advice conduct and disclosure.

In addition, the Bank has conducted consumer research to ensure that our disclosure is clearly articulated and easily understood by the investor. This feedback has been used to further refine and tailor our disclosure practices to ensure they are consumer-friendly.

We understand the importance of clear and effective disclosure and as such, we have extensive monitoring programs in place to ensure that all our planners continue to meet their regulatory obligations.

Over the past 18 months the Bank has invested in various programs to ensure we provide quality, accessible and affordable advice to all customers of the Commonwealth Bank and customers of Financial Wisdom. These initiatives include programs such as a two-day Compliant Advice Standards Program (CASP) for all Bank financial planners, and the Centre of Adviser Development – a centre of excellence dedicated to training and up-skilling our financial planners.

The need to continually improve is something the whole industry faces and the Bank is in an extremely strong position to rise to this challenge. This commitment to continually review and improve the quality of advice is embedded throughout the processes, systems and training programs within the Bank.