NAB has appointed the former chair of the FPA’s professional disciplinary panel as an independent customer advocate for its wealth advice complaints process.
NAB said University of NSW professor of law Dimity Kingsford Smith’s role would “improve and build independence” into its advice complaints process.
Professor Kingsford Smith will have the authority to support customers through the resolution of a complaint.
“If there is a disagreement as to a complaint outcome, the customer advocate can escalate the concern to the lead independent director of the NAB Wealth boards, who also sits on the NAB principal board,” the statement said.
Commenting on her appointment, Professor Kingsford Smith said she was looking forward to bringing an independent voice to the “fair and prompt resolution” of disputes between NAB Wealth and its customers.
“I am encouraged by the discussions I have had with leaders at NAB that the bank is determined to do the right thing by its customers, now and in the future,” she said.
“My primary work is as an independent university researcher, teacher and public commentator on the law and policy of Australian financial consumers.
“The NAB accepts that I will continue that work. I consider that is an additional guarantee of the independence of the customer advocate’s office and the determination of the NAB to treat its customers fairly,” she said.
Professor Kingsford Smith is a member of ASIC’s external advisory panel and has also held a number of other positions including independent chair of the FPA Conduct Review Commission from 2007 to 2014.
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