ASIC has appointed KordaMentha Forensic to examine two of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)’s financial planning arms’ compliance with new Australian financial services licence (AFS) conditions.
KordaMentha Forensic will report regularly to ASIC the results of their review of past activities by Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) and Financial Wisdom Limited (FWL) to identify high-risk advisers and affected customers, and CFPL and FWL’s compliance with the new conditions.
ASIC will release the findings, and CFPL and FWL will be required to address any deficiencies identified.
ASIC imposed the conditions on CFPL and FWL – and flagged it would appoint an external compliance expert – after a scheme developed to compensate customers of former CFPL advisers was not applied consistently across all affected customers of the two businesses. This inconsistency disadvantaged some customers (refer: 14-192MR and 14-104MR).
The conditions include CFPL and FWL offering customers up to $5,000 to have their financial advice independently reviewed.
KordaMentha Forensic was appointed following a competitive tender process.
The new AFS licence conditions and the expected work of the compliance expert were published in August 2014 (refer: 14-192MR).
The AFS licence conditions that require customer remediation steps and a supervised advice review is separate to CBA’s expansion of its remediation program for financial advice customers, announced in July 2014. However, customers covered by the ASIC-supervised review may, if they wish, have their case assessed under CBA’s program in addition to, or instead of, the process in the AFS licence conditions.