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The Senate vs The Banks

John Hewison
Founder and Director
14 Mar 2017

NAB CEO, Andrew Thorburn, was the first of the major bank heads to front up to the Federal Government’s inquiry into the banking sector a week ago.

The Parliamentary Committee grilled the NAB chief as to why the bank hadn’t sacked one of its financial advisers whose activities resulted in the bank having to pay $7 million in compensation to 100 customers. It was further revealed that the financial adviser concerned had resigned and received an undisclosed payout deal.

This prompted Labour MP, Matt Thistlewaite, to ask “Are you living in the real world?”

Mr Thorburn further admitted that the bank had sacked 55 financial planners out of its stable of 4,400 advisers and paid out $25 million in compensation to customers. It has also found that 1,138 staff had breached its code of conduct and a further 200 people has been fired as a result.

Despite these astounding revelations, Mr Thorburn claimed that the bank had lifted its standards and he was satisfied that his Head of Wealth and Chief Customer Service Officer had led this business well and lifted the standards.

It is inconceivable that a major financial institution, a bank, an organisation that the public should be entitled to trust implicitly can have such a warped view of the standards required and fail to hold offenders accountable.

Financial Planning, like any profession, requires the highest standards of integrity, practicing standards and ethical conduct. It also requires appropriate standards of education and a strong process of accountability and disciplinary procedures for those who fail to comply.

All these things are in place in the AFS licensing standards and it is up the licensees to supervise the activities of those who are authorised to practice under that license and maintain standards. That requires a robust compliance regime and adequate resources to carry out effective training supervision and review. It is complex and it is costly – and therein lies the problem for the banks.

Independent, professional financial planning practices like Hewison Private Wealth take compliance seriously. It is baked into our DNA. It is what we do on a daily basis and it represents good business practice. We build compliance into our daily systems and talk about it on a daily basis in everything we do.

As I have said on many occasions over many years; you cannot institutionalise professional advice. It takes an independent financial planner and investment adviser to ensure your individual needs are looked after.

Hewison Private Wealth are award winning financial planners, investment advisers and self managed super fund (SMSF) specialists. If you’re interested in speaking to one of our advisers please contact us on 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.au

EVENT INVITATION! We invite you join Hewison Private Wealth Advisers for a seminar featuring information on the changes to super rules – Tuesday 21 March – email info@hewison.com.au for details.

Please note: The information provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial adviser. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.