Westpac has unilaterally moved to end grandfathering with respect to its financial advice businesses.
The business announced that customers of BT Financial Advice operating through the Westpac, St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA networks (BT Financial Advisers) would benefit from the removal of grandfathered payments attributable to their BT products.
In an announcement released today, the bank said it was working towards the changes taking effect from 1 October 2018 to allow sufficient time for implementation across more than 12 different IT systems, two platforms and many products.
The announcement said BT would honour its contractual obligations to external financial advisers who are currently receiving grandfathered payments in respect of a BT financial product.
“However, should they request the removal of grandfathered payments, we will assist them to make similar changes,” it said.
The announcement acknowledged that five years on from the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) changes, more than 140,000 BT Advised customer accounts were still subject to grandfathered payments.
“We have considered this position from both a customer and a stakeholder perspective and decided that it is the right time to draw a line under these past arrangements and eliminate them as far as we are contractually able,” BT Financial Group chief executive, Brad Cooper said.
“Our announcement today builds on prior decisions to stop BT Financial Advisers receiving any benefit from stamping fees (despite being permitted under FoFA), ensuring that all BT Financial Advice ongoing advice customers receive an opt-in notice (not just those who joined after the FoFA reforms commenced as required by FoFA) and giving customers the opportunity to openly provide and review feedback through BT Adviser View.”