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Commission hears more examples of inappropriate advice

AMP’s address to the royal commission has revealed examples of inappropriate advice to switch super funds, with one instance being a client losing almost a quarter of their balance after being advised to switch to an AMP product.

AMP head of compliance Sarah Britt fronted the royal commission today and was questioned about advice provided by an authorised representative of AMP, referred to as Mr E, in November 2016.

In the statement of advice compiled by Mr E, the goals of the clients were recorded as wanting to make sure that their funds were performing better to meet their goal of stimulating more wealth in the long term.

The second goal that was listed for the husband was to ensure that he was to be adequately insured to protect himself and his family during misfortune.

Senior counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC noted that in the summary of advice provided by Mr E, advice was given to the husband that he roll over consolidate his superannuation benefits from two existing funds — TAL Super and MLC Master Key Superannuation — into one super fund, which was My North Super.

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“So the recommendation was that the husband roll over the $68,000 he had in TAL Super, and the $73,000 he had in MLC Super, and put both of those, a balance of $125,000, into My North Super,” Ms Orr explained.

The second strategy for the wife also recommended that she roll over $46,000 that she had in Vision Super Saver into My North Super, an AMP product.

The decision to roll over $68,000 from the TAL Super product to My North Super resulted in the husband incurring an exit fee of $16,189.05.

“So the advice to the husband from Mr E was to sacrifice close to 25 per cent of the balance of the fund so it could be transferred to My North Super,” Ms Orr said.

Ms Britt admitted to the commission that unless there were significant benefits which would outweigh the exit fee, then the advice could not have been in the client’s best interests.

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When questioned whether there were significant benefits that outweighed the exit fee, Ms Britt said that she could not identify what those benefits were based on the SOA, which was also the conclusion of the auditor who conducted an audit of the SOA.

An audit conducted on the SOA also revealed that the wife was going to be charged a higher ongoing fee as a result of her rollover.

Ms Britt admitted that based on the SOA, the advice appeared to be inappropriate.

When questioned about remediation for the clients, Ms Britt stated that the clients had not been remediated despite the advice being received in November 2016.

Commission hears more examples of inappropriate advice
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