BT fined $20m for incorrect commission payments

BT Funds Management has been fined $20 million by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for incorrectly charging commission payments to certain superannuation fund members.

The organisation charged super members insurance premiums which included commission payments until 2020. These had been banned under the Future of Financial Advice reforms since 2013.

Members of Asgard Independence Plan Division Two were also charged commission via premiums paid to financial advisers, despite members electing to have that payment removed from their account.

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It also found BT, which was a subsidiary of Westpac, misrepresented to members that proper deduction had been made, even though commission were not permitted.

ASIC deputy chair, Sarah Court, said: “Over 9,000 Asgard Fund members were incorrectly charged commission payments totalling more than $9 million. This misconduct was caused by the failure to implement proper systems to ensure consumers are correctly charged.

“As the Court finalises these matters against Westpac, we urge Westpac, and other financial institutions, to look at their culture of compliance and invest in systems that mean incorrect charging of fees, premiums and commissions does not occur.”

Westpac said it would pay over $9.8 million in remediation to over 9,900 members by July 2022.

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