The Commonwealth Bank has made some progress in its attempts to retrieve files from advisers formerly licensed by CBA dealer group Financial Wisdom, according an independent report on CBA's Open Advice Review.
Promontory Financial Group, the firm commissioned to release regular reports on the Commonwealth Bank's Open Advice Review customer remediation program, has released its fifth report.
CBA announced in February it would start contacting Financial Wisdom (FWL) advisers and their aligned entities directly in a renewed effort to locate the paperwork.
As at 31 April 2016, however, CBA was still unable to find documents for about 860 cases, down from 1,050 cases in the previous review period.
Some of those files remain missing despite “extensive searches” in bank systems and physical locations, the report said.
“During the current period, the bank was able to complete its retrieval of all available advice files of customers of current FWL advisers,” it added.
“The retrieval of advice files for customers in the program who received advice from former FWL advisers, however, remains in progress ... Given the low retrieval rate to date, the bank is considering other options to retrieve the relevant customer files.”
When additional documents are found, the relevant cases will be re-assessed.
The report said the bank’s “extensive work” to retrieve files has led to new documents that were not used in the initial assessment of some cases.
“These documents could involve critical advice documents (such as SOA or ROA),” the report said.
“To ensure any additional documents found by the bank subsequent to a customer’s receipt of an assessment outcome letter are appropriately reviewed, the bank has recently implemented a new process that requires the original case assessor to return to the case in the event that additional documents are found.”
CBA’s compensation scheme was set up in July 2014 in response to potential victims who lost money via its financial planning arm.
The latest report shows that out of more than 3,000 assessments, 414 offers of compensation totalling $4.8 million have been made to date.
Of that total, $3.1 million has been paid by the bank to 209 cases. About 73 have rejected their offers and 143 are still reviewing theirs.
These results show that the majority of customers whose advice has been assessed have received appropriate advice, CBA said in a statement.