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On The Record

CBA response to The Age regarding Mr Kataryna

CBA response to The Age regarding Mr Kataryna

Statement from CBA Executive General Manager Advice Review program Leif Gamertsfelder to The Age

We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr Kataryna and have offered our condolences to his family.

We are absolutely committed to reaching the right outcome for the customer and we are ready to meet with his appointed legal representative as soon as possible to bring this to a resolution.

Mr Kataryna registered for the Open Advice Review program, which has reviewed the personal advice provided to him by a financial planner to determine whether it was appropriate or not. Mr Kataryna received his assessment outcome letter shortly before he passed away, which found that some of the personal advice he received from a financial planner was not appropriate.

Any suggestion in this case that a frontline branch staff member provided personal advice or provided a product to meet a sales target is completely incorrect. The Financial Ombudsman Service reviewed this complaint and its determination in respect of this issue found in favour of the bank.

There is a record of the interaction between the branch staff member and the customer. This confirms that Mr Kataryna directed his funds to be placed into an at call account so that he could complete the construction of his new home under contracts he had already entered into. In this case, there is no record of personal advice because personal advice was not provided.

A branch staff member’s remuneration and performance is assessed using a balanced approach of customer service, individual and overall branch performance and in addition they must meet regulatory and compliance hurdles, adhere with our organisational values and do the right thing for customers.

For over 80 per cent of the customers who have had advice assessed through the Open Advice Review program, we have provided reassurance that the advice they received was appropriate for their circumstances and where poor advice has led to financial loss, we are putting things right for those customers.

If any customer has concerns following our assessment of their advice, the program includes the offer of free independent legal advice from one of three Independent Customer Advocates. We have made this available to Mr Kataryna’s representatives to provide any additional assistance they may need.