No charges will be brought to AMP Financial Planning arising from the corporate regulator’s investigation into its alleged fees-for-no-service conduct arising from its buyer of last resort (BOLR) policy.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that the investigation, which was the subject of inquiry and evidence during the Financial Services Royal Commission, had been finalised.
It said the decision to finalise the investigation followed consultation with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
ASIC said it had been conducting investigations into fees-for-no service conduct by entities within the AMP Limited group, including the BOLR policy conduct which resulted in two briefs of evidence being referred to the CDPP in mid-2020. ASIC’s investigations into other allegations of fees for no service conduct within the AMP Limited group are continuing.
“The CDPP has now determined, on the basis of the available evidence and weighing the relevant public interest factors, that no charges should be brought for that conduct,” ASIC said.
“ASIC has conducted a number of investigations into alleged civil contraventions by entities within the AMP Limited group.
“Civil penalty proceedings were commenced in the Federal Court in May 2021 against five companies that are, or were, part of the AMP Limited group for allegedly charging fees to deceased customers.
“ASIC does not intend to make any further comment.”
Responding to the decision, AMP said it welcomed the confirmation that ASIC would not take action in relation to either the processes or reporting of the historic fees-for-no-services conduct.
AMP group general counsel, David Cullen, said: “AMP acknowledges the deficiencies in its historic systems and processes within the Advice business to monitor ongoing service fees in relation to BOLR.
“In 2018, the business completed the implementation of enhanced systems and controls to improve monitoring and reporting and to protect against recurrence. We have apologised to all affected clients and confirm that remediation was also completed in full in 2018.
“With today’s confirmation that no action will be taken, we are pleased to have closure on this matter.”