Committee pursues claims of AMP charging $22,000 APL fee

1 July 2020

AMP Limited chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari has been challenged during a Parliamentary Committee hearing about whether AMP has been charging product providers as much as $22,000 to be on an AMP approved product list (APL).

The questioning came from the Labor Party deputy chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Andrew Leigh who posed the question to De Ferrari without getting a definitive answer.

However, in later questioning of Industry Fund Services (IFS), Leigh raised the issue again stating he had been told that AMP charged $22,000 for being on the company’s APL and asking what someone would have to pay to be on the IFS APL.

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Asking IFS chief executive, Cath Bowell what her company would charge someone for being placed on the APL, Bowtell said there would be no charge.

“In fact, it is possible that the product manufacturer would not even know they had been included on the APL,” she said.

Bowtell also made clear that IFS had not leant its support to the industry’s push for legislation extending the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam timetable because the company’s advisers were already well-advanced in passing the exam.

She said that around 60% of the company’s licensed advisers had already passed the FASEA exam and were well on the path to pursing the relevant education pathways to meet the bachelor degree minimum requirement.




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I wonder how many times Leigh and Bowtell rehearsed their little charade beforehand, under the steely gaze of the union headkickers.

Cath Bowtell, your financial planners are employees. They go home at 5pm each night without a worry in the world. Many FP's are running small businesses, meaning the impact of exams and study is likely to be much greater on them than a mere employee.

I watched the entire session yesterday.
The nature and tone of Andrew Leigh's line of questioning to Cath Bowtell was so transparently bias it was sickening.
Mind you Andrew Leigh is often sickening to watch talk about anything.
He is simply a whinging negative piece of leftist work that couldn't bring himself to say one supportive thing about the Govt or any form of right wing policy even it was beneficial for the country.
Similarly, his line and tone of questioning to Stephen Glenfield was obvious of his position but his line of aggressive questioning to AMP was equally as obvious in his stance against a corporate machine.
Jason Falinski got his money's worth in the number of questions he fired in which on some he could have done better I believe in both the preparation or the execution, but he at least asked some harder questions.
The murky and highly profitable links between ISH, IFM,IFS, ISA, The New Daily Pty Ltd and Frontier Advisors Pty Ltd needs to be very clearly exposed.
These organisations and some of the individuals behind them have made massive financial gains as a result of their intertwined involvement with Industry Super Funds over many years.
The tip of the iceberg has never even been touched.

As a boutique Asset manager having to pay close to $200k per annum across a variety of platforms, these costs have a real impact on the business, that can skew the allocation of capital across the industry value chain.

So dont pay then. You cant pay advisers for distribution or to fill in your application forms. What alternative do you have? Perhaps try Industry Super - that's right, they only distribute themselves.

Haha the "APL" of an industry super fund, surely she's taking the piss here.

The headline reads worse than it is - if you had a distribution network the size of AMP, the amount of DD required to go into an underlying investment fund or platform before you let it loose on thousands of planners would need to be pretty robust - imagine the fallout of a failed product these days?

I can't put a finger on the cost, but I know in our lonely AFSL of 2 we spend hours researching a fund before considering it to use for perhaps only one or two clients.

Interestingly Andrew Leigh got stuck into AMP regarding fees for no service and remediation but didn't even bring up the topic when talking to Cath Bowtell ....well, not interesting, just entirely predictable.
If Andrew Leigh lent any further to the left his ear would be on the ground listening to crickets.

Typical how is AMP serving the interest of clients our planners by charging a fee to get on their APL and how is that not a conflict of interest. So what if a product is a great investment but they don’t want to pay $22k it won’t be available to AMP advisors

Just goes to show you licensees do not do the right thing they have massive conflict of interest and they put themselves above advisors and clients abolish Licensees we have no need for them

afsl licensees are the single biggest hindrance for most professionally qualified financial planners.

the sooner we remove the afsl regime and make the planner responsible and register them individually the better

it will come, they can still be around just doing my bookkeeping and other essential services for me to practice, but I as the most highly qualified professional financial planner whose sole duty is to their client should be the only one in consultation with my client to decide what is and what isn't in their best interest.

not someone else. does the law society or the professional accounting bodies tell their professionally qualified members how to serve their clients?

It's only the big AFSLs which are a problem in this regard. Small AFSLs generally don't have rigid Approved Product Lists. And they certainly don't receive payments to be on them!

Individual registration rather than AFSLs is a worthy goal, that the FPA is now advocating for. But it won't happen for years. In the meantime get your own AFSL if you think you can do a better job of it than a conflicted corporate. It's not nearly as difficult as the big licensees make it out to be.

But Anon even some of the smaller independent AFSLs are majority owned by fund managers or some type of product provider there seems to be this constant conflict of interest the only case where there isn’t is when you have your own AFSL which I am in the process of doing I am a single practice firm but it is working out to be cheaper than being on someone else AFSL. I would encourage other planners to get their own AFSL the process is long and costly but that is only upfront once I have the AFSL the ongoing costs will be cheaper than if I was a rep on someone else’s AFSL and I won’t have the hassle of dealing with them as well

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