Promontory is the Independent Expert of the Open Advice Review program and is responsible for monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the program and its progress. Formal reporting from Promontory will commence in early 2015 and will be biannual.
In the interim, the Commonwealth Bank has provided the following update on the Open Advice Review program.
- The Open Advice Review program has been advertised extensively across a number of channels including print, online and radio. The Open Advice Review program is also working with community groups to maximise the response from key customer groups.
- The Open Advice Review program has received registrations from approximately 4,200 customers seeking review as part of the program since it was announced on 3 July 2014.
- Advertising will continue to increase awareness of the Open Advice Review program, and therefore, we expect further customer registrations.
- The Open Advice Review program has contacted almost all customers who have registered and will continue to proactively do so via the Open Advice Review program’s dedicated customer contact centre.
- The Open Advice Review program has distributed information packs to the majority of customers and is sending more out every day. The information pack contains additional details about the Open Advice Review program, including a summary of the process, and a ‘You and Your Advice’ form for the registrants to complete to help the review process.
The Open Advice Review program has made key appointments since it was announced. So far, we have:
- Made a range of appointments to the Independent Review Panel, including: retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Ian Callinan AC, as Chairman; retired Justice of the Queensland Court of Appeal, the Hon Geoffrey Davies AO, as Deputy Chairman; retired Justice of the Federal Court and the Victorian Court of Appeal, the Hon Julie Dodds-Streeton QC, as Panellist;
- Appointed Fiona Guthrie, Executive Director of Financial Counselling Australia, as a consultant expert advisor to the program;
- Announced Promontory Financial Group as the Independent Expert for the Open Advice Review program; and
- Appointed leading independent Australian advisory firm McGrathNicol as the Open Advice Review program’s Independent Forensic Expert.
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:
- 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;
- The customer will also receive an offer of an Independent Customer Advocate funded by the Commonwealth Bank;
- 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;
- 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
- 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.
Customer registration for the Open Advice Review program is open by calling 1800 507 281 or visiting www.commbank.com.au/openadvice