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Dodgy bank planners still advising

Advisers terminated from employment with the major institutions for providing poor advice are still active in the industry, senior executives from CBA, NAB, ANZ and Macquarie have confirmed.

Appearing before the Senate's 'scrutiny of financial advice' inquiry in Canberra yesterday, Nationals senator John Williams grilled senior representatives of CBA, NAB, ANZ and Macquarie on whether they knew if advisers they had “sacked” for giving inappropriate advice were still in the industry.

Responding to Senator Williams, CBA group executive for wealth management Annabel Spring said a total 43 advisers had left Commonwealth Financial Planning between January 2012 and March 2015.

Of the 43 that had left the business, some were terminated while others had left the company following investigations, she said.

Ms Spring then told the committee that she “knew of planners that were terminated” with the bank's licensees and are now active with another dealer, adding that they appear on ASIC's adviser register.

Addressing the same question, NAB Wealth group executive Andrew Hagger said he believed a number of the 41 advisers NAB had sacked for poor advice were also still providing advice.

“Now that the adviser register [is live] – I haven’t sort of done the stock take of the number – I think a number of them are still in the industry,” Mr Hagger said.

Macquarie Group deputy managing director and head of banking and financial services, Greg Ward, revealed that of a total of 11 advisers whom Macquarie had terminated and flagged with ASIC, he was aware that some were also operating in the industry.

“Anecdotally, I have heard some of them are still working in the financial planning industry as a financial adviser,” Mr Ward said.

“We have breach reported the individuals to ASIC [but] the way I find out, anecdotally, is I see firms announce their appointment."

However, ANZ global wealth group chief executive Joyce Phillips – who also appeared before the committee along with deputy chief executive Graham Hodges – said she was not aware if any of the advisers that were terminated for inappropriate behaviours and compliance breaches were active in the industry.

She did reveal, however, that 16 ANZ advisers have been terminated in the past 12 months, many associated with the problems surrounding the Prime Access financial planning service.