The Federal Court has handed down a $10.5 million penalty to Westpac in relation to proceedings brought by the corporate regulator on the provision of financial product advice.
The penalty related to proceedings brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2016 for personal advice that was found to have been provided in relation to calls to 14 customers concerning the rollover of their external superannuation accounts.
ASIC found this was in breach of certain provisions of the Corporations Act by Westpac Securities Administration and BT Funds Management.
Westpac said the penalty was fully provisioned in its first half 2021 accounts.
“We take our obligations to our customers very seriously," a spokesperson for Westpac said.
"This was a test case brought by ASIC against Westpac Securities Administration Limited and BT Funds Management Limited in relation to 14 customers concerning the rollover of their superannuation accounts.
"It was an important process for the financial services industry to provide clarity on the distinction between the provision of ‘personal’ and ‘general’ advice when speaking with our customers. The findings in this case have provided that clarity.”