De Ferrari told blame yourself, not AMP planners

Plaintiff law firm, Slater and Gordon has taken a major swipe at AMP Limited chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari blaming AMP management for the company’s legal woes rather than its financial planning network.

The swipe cam against the background of De Ferrari using this week’s hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to lament Australia’s class action system in circumstances where he admitted that AMP was currently facing two class actions.

Slater and Gordon head of class actions, Ben Hardwick questioned De Ferrari’s attitude, claiming the AMP chief executive’s “chutzpah” was hard to fathom.

"De Ferrari runs an organisation that somehow managed to claim a gold medal for disgrace at the banking Royal Commission in a highly competitive field," Hardwick said. “It's difficult to imagine the arrogance necessary to show up to Parliament, as the boss of AMP, and start whinging about how inconvenient it is for ordinary Australians to want their money back.”

"Those of us who run class actions against financial sector giants must be doing something right to trigger this kind of clumsy attack from the boss of AMP.

"For anyone wondering what the Liberal Party's parliamentary class action inquiry is all about look no further than De Ferrari. The business lobby wants the likes of AMP to go back to acting with impunity, without worrying about any pesky customers taking them to court,” Hardwick claimed.
"CEOs like Francesco De Ferrari are telling politicians the solution to getting hit by class actions is to make it harder for Australians to sue them. I would argue the solution is to stop breaking the law.”

"AMP charged dead superannuation customers for life insurance, knowing there was no longer any life to insure. Then they were accused of lying to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. And this was just the tip of the iceberg.

"However, De Ferrari's whining has actually done a very useful thing: he has revealed the true agenda of corporate Australia. He wants litigation funding for class actions cut off so AMP can go back to doing whatever they want without fear of getting sued.

"Litigation funders help ordinary Australians take class actions against the likes of AMP. For De Ferrari to take aim at their motives and practices with a straight face is astounding.”

Hardwick noted that De Ferrari's claim that class actions were making life hard for financial advisors was simply misleading.

“We haven’t actually sued any AMP financial planners in our class actions and I don't believe anyone else has either," he said. “All AMP's problems stemmed from head office, which De Ferrari now heads up, not the planners out in the dealer networks. It is typical of AMP management types to throw someone else under the bus to cover their own ineptitude."

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Hardwick is wrong.
Hardwick is self serving and his protectionist rant is transparent.
Whilst not defending AMP as an organisation or De Ferrari's history as CEO, in this weeks House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics session, De Ferrari's major comment was in relation to the massive increases in the profitability of the litigation funders and the massive increases in the percentage the litigation funders and the class action law firms were taking away from their clients, being the very people who need the funds most.
Litigation funding and class actions are massive money machines for law firms like Slater and Gordon and Labor's love child, Maurice Blackburn.
Naturally, these firms do not take on a case unless they estimate they will have an 80-90% chance of winning.
De Ferrari was stating that it is entirely necessary for the proposal for the class action process to be under the same regulations applied to an AFSL.
The law firms that openly encourage and ramp up emotional sentiment are not doing it for the good of the claimants.
Their primary interest is winning for the massive financial rewards.
One could easily argue that a conflict of interest exists between the law firm and the litigation funders who want a significant return on capital investment and the law firm and their clients.
Are the law firms acting in their client's best interest or the interest of the machine behind them ?
Who are these law firms primarily responsible to?
If the law firms continually lose cases, the litigation funding may dry up and they won't have the resources to fund the process.
The issue is that Lawyers who take on these cases , especially in regard to financial services matters are giving advice or analysis to the clients in regard to the investment product, superannuation fund, insurance cover, mortgage product or credit product whichever may apply.
Lawyers are not licensed to provide either analysis or product advice to a client without an AFSL.
In addition, the exorbitant costs that Lawyers are charging clients to negotiate insurance claims settlements compared to the expertise of experienced and qualified financial advisers is sickening.
Often, financial advisers can negotiate an acceptable outcome for the client for a fraction of the cost of engaging a Lawyer who has a vested interest in stringing the process out in order to increase costs and fees.
They prey on emotion and vulnerability of their client and very often convince them to accept outcomes which will reduce the benefit received but result in a significant financial gain to the law firm.
Ben Hardwick's response and commentary is predictable, retaliatory and protectionist.
Maybe Maurice Blackburn should be dealing with the potential conflict that exists with their involvement with Steve Bracks which has written about so much in recent publications ?

it's all legal. it is allowed. lawyers have a carve out from the requirements of an AFSL.

I am a student at law. leaving financial advice to become a lawyer, where I can use my expertise and do the right thing by clients and also be paid handsomely for my efforts and skills.

you can't even charge according to your skills as a financial planner. ASIC dictates that. what other profession has to do that.

You are absolutely correct.
Any young person deciding on a future should stay away from the advice profession and head to the law.
The consequences of the mad environment we are in now will come home to roost in 5 yrs time.
We are expected to work as a charity and judged in hindsight.

it won't take that long, by 2024 it will be abundantly clear.

why do you think tim wilson is banging his head "advocating" on behalf of and against the mistreatment of existing advisers

it's all for the show, he already knows they need to come up with someone to blame for the debacle.

adviser ratings estimate 100 advisers leaving each week. 22,000 remaining and counting

And what about contingency fees, which are illegal in NSW, or percentage based arrangements?

Maybe the legal fraternity need to concentrate on addressing the developing evidence of the power trip culture within the profession resulting in ever increasing exposure of significant sexual harassment and manipulation and possible criminal behaviour within it's own ranks ?
The pedestal that the legal fraternity place themselves on and the position they believe they hold within society is now starting to become very obvious in the attitude of some in positions of power.
As time goes on, it will become more and more evident that some of the culture within the profession that is supposed to uphold the law is nothing more than a charade.

The article
is correct !
your summation is biased.

That's your opinion Dino.
Which is obviously biased.

AMP are such scumbags always screwing clients, planners and ASIC. I feel sorry for the advisers who work at AMP or are authorised by AMP. This is a toxic company and it should be broken up and sold piece by piece, the culture at that firm will never change. Another example of why licensees are no longer needed they are no good for the client or the adviser just make life harder for both

did you see who they appointed as ceo of amp capital? a person who has harassed a female colleague before while in London.

yes, I know he is sorry

You are all correct. We should get all the lawyers and all the senior mnagement at both the firms mentioned in this article and tie them to a pole and set them on fire. None of them have any morals at all and do not care about anyone other than themselves.

can all of you please stop bagging lawyers. at least they can individually choose to be honest and make a decent and honest living free from so many encumbrances.

can you financial planners do that? A lot of you are going to have a post-grad degree, yet your regulator stipulates you should charge $300. Although most of us would have passed on that liability to tax agents instead.

what other industry has that requirement?, we won't.

“All AMP's problems stemmed from head office, which De Ferrari now heads up, not the planners out in the dealer networks. It is typical of AMP management types to throw someone else under the bus to cover their own ineptitude." Exactly right and unfortunately these AMP management types have now left AMP and are infecting the boutique dealer groups

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