The AMP Financial Planning Association (AMP FPA) has hit back at the company’s claims that it was consulted over the company’s moves to reduce adviser numbers and change buyer of last resort (BOLR) arrangements, telling members the AMP FPA board was not consulted and was certainly did not given the required 13 months’ notice of change.
A notice to AMP FPA members signed by the association’s chief executive officer, Neil Macdonald makes clear he believes that reports that AMP had entered into consultations ahead of this month’s announcements were deliberately misleading.
“Please, do not let the statements divert your attention from the key fact that AMP did not consult with the board of ampfpa before making these changes,” Macdonald’s message to members said. “This is key because AMP relies on a particular clause in the BOLR Policy in order to make these purported amendments, and one of the requirements of this clause is that AMP must first consult with the board of ampfpa.”
“AMP has failed to do this. (In our view, that clause does not apply, so even if AMP had consulted with the board of ampfpa, AMP still would have had no right to make the amendments to the BOLR Policy without giving 13 months’ notice.)
Macdonald’s message to AMP FPA members went on to say that it was irrelevant that AMP had informed the association ahead of time because under the terms of their agreement the company was required to give 13 months’ notice
“In any case, the clause of the BOLR Policy that AMP is relying on required AMP to ‘consul’” with the board of ampfpa. Consulting requires much more than simply providing information. No consultation occurred,” he said.
Further he said that suggestions by the company that it had sought feedback from advisers in shaping its new strategy were misleading because “while some directors of ampfpa were informed that AMP had requested meetings with a few advisers, but we are unaware of any details about these meetings or whether any meetings occurred”.
“In any event, AMP seeking feedback from advisers on anything is irrelevant to the key issue of whether AMP had the right to amend the BOLR Policy. And seeking feedback does not amount to consultation,” it said.
Macdonald said it had also been wrong of AMP Limited to suggest that the AMP FPA board had received a full briefing on the BOLR changes on 25 July because only a subset of the board had received a briefing which amounted to merely being shown a PowerPoint presentation that AMP acknowledged contained factual errors and inaccuracies.
His message to members suggested that AMP was seeking to “cloud the issue” and that references to AMP providing information to a select subset of directors of the ampfpa board and to AMP seeking feedback from advisers “appears to be an attempt by AMP to divert attention from this key, material point: AMP did not consult with the board of ampfpa and in any case, was required to give 13 months’ notice of the change”.