More than 8,500 former clients of ANZ's financial planning arm will be reimbursed after an investigation found they had not received services paid for.
The bank announced that a “review” has identified that “around 8,500” clients of its Prime Access financial planning service had not received their documented annual review and are now eligible for refunds under a remediation project overseen by ASIC, PwC and Clayton Utz.
The reimbursement is anticipated to cost the bank $30 million and comes as ANZ officials prepare to appear before a Senate hearing into bank-aligned financial planning scandals.
In response to the news, inquiry member Senator Sam Dastyari posted on Twitter, describing the charges as “significant” and adding that “ASIC is looking at all the banks”.
ANZ global wealth chief executive Joyce Phillips said the bank apologises and has put in place measures to avoid similar occurrences in the future.
“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,” Ms Phillips said.
“We have also put in place a range of measures to ensure this issue does not happen again.
“This includes improved training, technology, audit and supervision as well as including the documented annual review as an essential component of balanced scorecards for our financial planners.”
The statement comes as ASIC issues an update on its investigation into the six largest financial planning groups, finding “multiple instances” of charging clients fees for non-existent advice.