ANZ pays out $30 million to financial planning clients; Liquidator misconduct on downward trend says ASIC: Midday roundup

ANZ pays out $30 million to financial planning clients; Liquidator misconduct on downward trend says ASIC: Midday roundup

ANZ Bank will pay out around $30 million to reimburse thousands of customers who signed up for financial planning advice and never received it.

ANZ is the latest of the big four banks forced to compensate customers over financial services.

The bank confirmed it would pay back around 8,500 of its clients who used the Prime Access fee-for-service package and never received a promised documented annual review.

“We sincerely apologise to our clients for not delivering all of the Prime Access services we promised and we will reimburse affected clients as soon as possible,” said ANZ chief executive of global wealth, Joyce Phillips, in a statement.

Phillips said ANZ has put in place a range of measures to ensure this issue did not happen again, including improved training, technology, audit and supervision, and making the documented annual review as an essential component of its services.

Liquidator misconduct on downward trend says ASIC

Alleged misconduct surrounding registered liquidators is on a downward trend, according to ASIC’s annual report into the insolvency sector. 

ASIC commissioner John Price said he was pleased that at the end of December 2014 only 21 registered liquidators were subject to formal investigations.

“However, as our report highlights, ASIC also seeks sanctions against those liquidators who don’t meet the high standards that the law imposes,” Price said.

“We anticipate continuing our strong enforcement focus on those few practitioners who flout the law. We will also continue our programs aimed at supervising the majority who do the right thing so people can have trust and confidence in the profession.”

Earlier this week Perth-based liquidator Ross Thomson had to repay $24,200 after an investigation by the corporate watchdog found numerous failings with the handling of three administrations. 

Shares down

The Aussie share market is in negative territory this morning, following a sluggish lead from the US overnight.

“The Australian sharemarket is looking at closing the week deep in the red as a flat Wall Street lead has combined with negative momentum from yesterday which was brought about by the outperforming local jobs numbers which has lessened the chance of a possible RBA interest rate cut in May,” said Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, in a statement.

“Also adding to the negative tone was continued talk in Europe of Greek’s debt and possible default.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 43.3 points to 5904.2 points at 12:00pm AEST. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.04%, falling 6.84 points to 18,105.8 points.


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