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Five largest banks pay $51.4m in compensation

Five largest banks pay $51.4m in compensation

AMP, ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac, after paying an additional amount of $21.4 million, have together paid a total of $51.4 million to customers who suffered loss or detriment as a result of non-compliant conduct by advisers.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that a new tranche of compensation had been paid in relation to observations and findings from its March 2017 Report 515 Financial advice: Review of how large institutions oversee their advisers (REP 515).

The report reviewed financial advice compliance at AMP, ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac. In addition to reviewing the effectiveness of adviser oversight, the project reported on work being undertaken by these institutions to identify and compensate customers affected by non-compliant advice provided between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2015.

It found that, at 31 December 2016, approximately $30 million had been paid (or offered to be paid) by the institutions to approximately 1,347 customers who had suffered loss as a result of advice failings by 97 high-risk advisers identified at that time.

An additional $21.4 million has now been paid, bringing the total compensation amount to $51.4 million.

AMP has paid the most compensation under the latest review and remediation framework developed as part of this project, totalling $8.5 million as a result of advice given to 1,192 customers by 11 advisers.

Westpac has paid $4.5 million to 137 customers for advice given by 11 of its advisers, while advice given by nine advisers at both ANZ and NAB have resulted in the two banks paying compensation to 245 and 103 customers, respectively.

ANZ has paid just over $3 million in compensation while NAB paid $1.4 million.

When looking at the total compensation paid (including under remediation and complaints) for financial advice, AMP has paid the most to the largest number of customers, compensating 1,266 customers with a total of $14.7 million as a result of advice provided by 24 advisers.

Westpac has paid just over $13 million, ANZ has paid $11.2 million, CBA has paid $7.6 million and NAB has paid $4.7 million.

ASIC has said that it expects further compensation to be paid, but the amount of compensation and the number of potentially affected customers are not known at this stage.

Remediation program progress update

All institutions involved are reviewing the advice received by customers of their identified high-risk advisers.

The financial services regulator has said that it is continuing to oversee the implementation and “expert assurance” of the remediation work undertaken by the institutions.

The five major institutions are also undertaking, and seeking expert assurance of, work to identify any high-risk advisers not identified by their previous monitoring and supervision processes.

ASIC has ongoing investigation or surveillance activities in relation to more than 50 individual advisers within the scope of the work in REP 515 and will publicly report on the outcomes from these activities as they progress.

As at 31 January 2018, ASIC has publicly reported upon regulatory outcomes achieved in relation to 42 advisers who fall within the scope of the work in REP 515.

[Related: New financial complaints body formed]

Five largest banks pay $51.4m in compensation
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