ANZ agrees to enforceable undertaking

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from ANZ, following a finding by the regulator that the bank had failed to provide documented annual reviews.

ANZ did not give reviews to more than 10,000 ‘Prime Access’ customers from 2006 to 2013. A key part of the Prime Access package, which was a service package offered to financial planning customers for an annual fee from 2003, was the provision of a documented annual review of the customer’s financial plan.

Specifically, the ASIC investigation found that:

  • ANZ had failed to provide documented annual reviews to more than 10,000 Prime Access' customers who had paid for those reviews;
  • ANZ did not have adequate systems and processes in place to ensure that the Prime Access Service, including the provision of documented annual reviews, was provided to Prime Access customers;
  • from as early as 2008, ANZ Financial Planning was aware of a number of confirmed instances in which documented annual reviews had not been provided to Prime Access customers, and that there was a risk of a broader issue in relation to further Prime Access customers not being provided with documented annual reviews, but the conduct continued until 2013, and ANZ did not breach report the conduct to ASIC until August 2013; and
  • ANZ failed to comply with section 912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act which provides that a financial services licensee must do all things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by the licence are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly and a condition of its Australian financial services licence.

ANZ acknowledged that the regulator’s concerns were reasonable held when agreeing to the undertaking. Amongst other things, the EU would require ANZ to:

  • pay a community benefit payment totalling $3 million;
  • provide an audited attestation from ANZ senior management to provide 'reasonable assurance' that the bank has, since 2014, provided documented annual reviews to customers who were entitled to such reviews; and
  • provide further audited attestations from ANZ senior management as to the improvements that the bank has made to its compliance systems and processes, and that the design and implementation of those systems and processes will seek to ensure documented annual reviews are provided in accordance with the ANZ Prime Access package.

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Why is it that when a Financial Adviser fails their clients, they are named and shamed, but when a bank AFSL fails it's clients, no single person is held accountable? Why aren't the Responsible Managers held to account? What about the Directors of the AFSL? Or perhaps the turnover of staff in these roles is so high that ASIC can't point to just a single person, in which case the conclusion should be that failure is inevitable and the right to an AFSL licence should be the question, not an Enforceable Undertaking.

OMG, having bank senior management actually sign an attestation to confirm that the employees, whom they are responsible for, are actually delivering the service customers are paying for. Surely this is going too far. Doesn't ASIC realise that these are senior management for goodness sake.

There's is not to be bothered by such mundane tasks as running a financial institution. There role's are the culmination of many years of cow-towing, saying yes to everyone above them and saying no, to everyone below them. And they have now scaled the corporate ladder high enough to where the salaries and benefits are at their most generous. This is certainly not the time to be holding them responsible for anything. I shudder to think what might be the next unjust demand imposed on these poor persecuted simple folk. Provide leadership, surely not.

Found the person who has never worked in a large business. Senior managers would be absolutely nowhere near the conduct of advisers. The direct managers and managers once removed certainly would - and you will find that is where the behaviour stems from.

Nice one Kit - now go and find out what a Responsible Manager is supposed to do and think about your response again.#eggonface.

Hey Kit, just for your info, an excerpt from the new CBA CEO sent around to staff today 9/4/18

“We have made mistakes. We have not done enough to protect our customers. That starts with me and our senior executives," Mr Comyn wrote in a message to the bank's 51,000 staff.

Kit, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they're certainly not entitled to their own facts! You probably need to re-read your Kaplan course notes as a refresher.

why weren't they forced to pay back the fees they took? not even on the list.

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