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Further CBA adviser allegations revealed

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The Commonwealth Financial Planning adviser under ASIC investigation, Don Nguyen, allegedly received a promotion to the position of senior planner within the advisory network after an internal investigation into some of his questionable practices.

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>Additional information obtained by InvestorDaily and documented in the original ASIC complaint alleged Nguyen was originally investigated by the compliance arm of Commonwealth Financial Planning.

One of the activities Nguyen allegedly perpetrated that came under the spotlight was his practice of collecting $5000 for advice on claims made to Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) insurance business, CommInsure.

CBA practice allows for a fee of up to $5000 be paid to a financial planner for providing advice to a client, who has made a successful trauma claim on a CommInsure policy, to address what the claimant should potentially do with the payout.

It is alleged Nguyen was able to find out when trauma claims were being settled along with the details of the claimants.

Armed with this information he then allegedly prepared invoices and sent them directly to CommInsure, claiming the $5000 payment without ever meeting the parties involved or providing any type of advice to them.

Other information supplied shows CBA, having investigated these activities, considered them to be serious but not sufficient enough to justify Nguyen's dismissal.

However, he did receive an official warning for his behaviour.

It is alleged Nguyen was also investigated over his practice of having branch staff circumvent proper referral procedures regarding customers with an asset base of over $400,000.

Bank policy dictates these clients should be referred to a senior planner, but Nguyen allegedly paid cash incentives to branch staff so these referrals would be sent directly to him.

To make the referrals legitimate it is alleged he classified them as self-generated to disguise any impropriety associated with the activity.

After looking into the matter, it is alleged CBA's compliance division recommended Nguyen be sacked from his position within the bank.

While being investigated, Commonwealth Financial Planning did stand him down.

However, after this suspension Nguyen was reinstated and around the same time was promoted to the position of senior financial planner.

The promotion meant Nguyen could legitimately service clients with assets of over $400,000 and receive more of these types of referrals in accordance with the bank's guidelines.

Also, as a result of the promotion, Nguyen inherited a book of business from two departing senior planners to the value of around $30 million.

At the time Nguyen was the subject of this internal investigation he was one of the top writers of business within the Commonwealth Financial Planning network.

As such he had qualified for the organisation's Diamond Alliance and the right to attend the offshore conference for the company's most valued planners.

After discovering some of Nguyen's activities, the information provided showed one of senior management's greatest concerns was whether or not it would be appropriate for him to attend the offshore conference.

Despite these concerns over Nguyen's status as a delegate at the conference, it is understood he was still present at the event.

 

Further CBA adviser allegations revealed
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