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False witnessing was 'widespread' at NAB

False witnessing was 'widespread' at NAB

Tim Stewart
— 1 minute read

The royal commission has heard that NAB financial planners routinely falsified client signatures on binding nomination forms, believing it to be "common practice".

NAB chief customer officer Andrew Hagger gave evidence on Tuesday about the "widespread" practice of planners signing binding nomination forms on their clients' behalf.

The commission heard that NAB planner Bradley Meyn wrote his clients' initials on the forms as well as entering percentages. Mr Meyn was terminated by NAB on 1 December 2016.

NAB Financial Planning general manager Tim Steele conducted an investigation of the practice in the following months, identifying the issue with 19 advisers in a report to NAB's Breach Review Committee in May 2017.

The report said "we believe this issue will be widespread. As yet, there is no known client impact. However, if a nomination is found to be invalid, this could impact on the death benefits being distributed in accordance with the client's wishes".

By June 2017, NAB had identified 325 staff who were involved in incorrectly witnessing beneficiary forms, of whom 204 were financial advisers authorised by NAB.

NAB relayed that information to ASIC in a breach report on 5 June 2017. Subsequently, NAB wrote to the 2,520 affected customers and had the majority re-sign the forms.

You can follow the royal commission hearings on a live blog at InvestorDaily's sister publication ifa.

 

False witnessing was 'widespread' at NAB
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