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CBA customer to engage independent advocate over advice case

The family of a former Commonwealth Bank customer that claimed he had received poor quality personal financial advice from a bank teller, has decided to take the matter to plaintiff lawyers in an effort to retrieve the “thousands of dollars” lost, according to the family’s financial adviser.

Earlier this week, CBA denied claims that one of its bank staff members had provided bad personal advice to Raymond Kataryna, who passed away last year.

Mr Kataryna had sought compensation from CBA after he lost thousands of dollars as a result of putting a $500,000 cheque (from the sale of an investment property) into a cash account, instead of his superannuation.

He had claimed he was recommended the asset allocation. But CBA denies this, saying Mr Kataryna himself had directed the move.


Now, Mr Kataryna’s estate is set to involve plaintiff firm Shine Lawyers to try and get back what was lost, the family’s financial adviser Melinda Houghton of Houghton Strategic Solutions told Mortgage Business' sister title, ifa.

“We lodged a claim with FOS in 2014 because Mr Kataryna had gone into his branch to see his financial adviser. He was told his financial adviser wasn’t available and he could talk to another one,” Ms Houghton told ifa. 

“From there he was encouraged to put money into a bank account instead of the superannuation fund that his adviser had previously recommended. What that meant was that he lost a lot of money in capital gains tax and also in lost income from Centrelink.

“The bank is saying he didn’t see a financial planner on that day. [Mr Kataryna] was arguing he was told he was seeing a financial planner that day.”

Ms Houghton said Mr Kataryna’s attempts to resolve the issue via CBA’s Open Advice Review program were being blocked due to insufficient paperwork.

CBA said earlier this week that there is no record of personal advice in this case because personal advice was never provided.

Ms Houghton said she cannot see how this is possible.

“How does a bank, a financial planning arm of a bank, have absolutely no records of a client? None? And how do they use that as saying he didn’t receive advice when he clearly did?” she said.

“My concern is that this is just one client. They’ve recently stated that ‘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’.

“My question would be ‘how many of those just didn't have any records?’”

[Related: Majors' mortgage customers drag down satisfaction levels]


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