Commonwealth Bank acknowledges the appointment of KordaMentha Forensic as the compliance expert under the varied Australian Financial Services Licence conditions for its financial planning arms, Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) and Financial Wisdom Limited (FWL).
The varied licence conditions were agreed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in May 2014 and were finalised in August 2014. The appointment of KordaMentha Forensic by ASIC comes as part of this agreement.
Under the variations, CFPL and FWL will contact more than 4,000 of their financial planning customers to inform them the advice they previously received was subject to an internal review as CFPL and FWL had identified that their adviser had provided poor advice to some customers in the past.
KordaMentha Forensic’s role will involve preparing three reports for ASIC. Following the delivery of the first report by KordaMentha Forensic, CFPL and FWL will start contacting customers. Customers contacted will be given the choice to have their assessment reviewed, and the opportunity to seek independent advice via a qualified adviser (i.e. a lawyer, accountant or licensed financial adviser), with fees up to $5,000 being met by the Group.
Customers who will be contacted in this process are also eligible to participate in the Open Advice Review program, which was announced by Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Narev, on 3 July 2014.
Customers of CFPL or FWL who have questions are encouraged to contact CFPL on 1800 507 281 or FWL on 1800 508 169 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday (eastern daylight savings time).
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 to receive funding from the Group to access independent advice from a qualified adviser.
Open Advice Review program (OARp)
The OARp is the customer remediation program announced by 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 commbank.com.au/openadvice