CBA ceases client calls after ‘numerous issues’ in compo scheme

CBA has made more changes to its processes in its client compensation scheme, this time dropping the requirement to call customers in cases where advice files are missing.

ifa reported in February that the bank had ramped up efforts to track down some formerly-aligned advisers and their missing paperwork. 

According to the sixth report by Promontory Financial Group – which was appointed to oversee the Open Advice Review program – CBA has made “a number of refinements” to its approaches for dealing with cases with limited or no advice documents.

One of those changes includes no longer making calls to customers to ascertain information about possible instances of advice, after CBA experienced “numerous issues”.

According to the report, some customers were “unwilling or reluctant to share information with the bank in a phone call”. Others had difficulties with “providing or recollecting relevant details during the call process”, the report states.

Further, these calls were consuming a “considerable amount of time, without necessarily adding to the facts already available to the bank to progress an assessment”.

“The bank’s revised approach now requires assessors to conduct an initial review of potential instances of advice using the information, files and data it has available,” the report states.

“Based on the information available (including information on the customer’s implemented investments available from the Bank’s systems), assessors then make a determination as to whether the potential instance of advice was likely inappropriate, or whether there was no evidence of inappropriateness.”

The report also shows that as at 31 August 2016, CBA had offered $9.8 million to customers who had suffered a financial loss as a result of poor advice from its aligned advisers.

Of that amount, the bank paid $6.7 million to 476 cases. The remaining $3 million in compensation offered, but not yet paid, related to cases where the offer was still under review.

CBA executive general manager, advice review program Leif Gamertsfelder said the Open Advice Review program is nearing completion.

“Over 90 per cent of all registered cases that required an assessment have now been issued an assessment outcome or have commenced assessment, which is acknowledged by Promontory in its latest report,” he said.

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