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CBA clients unfazed by advice scandals

Commonwealth Bank financial planning clients are the most satisfied of the four major banks, despite a spate of recent investigations into its advice groups, according to new research from Roy Morgan.

The Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source survey found that in the 12 months to March 2014, 84.2 per cent of CBA financial planning clients were satisfied with the services they received.

The research also found that CBA’s high satisfaction score was driven by those aged 50 and over, with a satisfaction rating of 88.4 per cent, and with an 86.8 per cent satisfaction rating among male respondents.

“In light of the government considering change to the regulation of financial planning and financial advice as well as the upcoming Financial System Inquiry, the satisfaction with financial planner/advisers is becoming increasingly critical in capturing and retaining market share in a constantly evolving environment,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.

“Further measures are required by the majors to maintain or increase satisfaction for the financial advice they give to ensure smaller banks and other financial institutions do not erode their customer base.”

However, Mr Morris added that it is “yet to be seen if recent adverse publicity relating to some financial planners” will have an impact on the satisfaction and retention levels, referencing the recent joint investigation by the ABC's Four Corners and Fairfax Media into former Financial Wisdom (CBA) authorised representative Rollo Sherriff.

Following CBA in the satisfaction ratings were ANZ at 83.2 per cent, Westpac at 80.5 per cent and NAB at 80.1 per cent.


In comparison, ANZ’s satisfaction score was highest for women, at 87.2 per cent, and for those with a personal income below $100,000, at 84.7 per cent.

In addition, its lowest satisfaction demographic was those with a personal income greater than $100,000, which only recorded a satisfaction rating of 78.5 per cent, with a 79.9 per cent rating from male respondents.

The research’s release follows ASIC’s announcement that it will impose licence conditions on CBA-aligned licensees Financial Wisdom and Commonwealth Financial Planning as part of the compensation process for aggrieved former clients.