CBA has rejected claims that a branch staff member had provided inappropriate personal financial advice in order to meet a sales target.
Fairfax Media reported over the weekend that Raymond Kataryna – a former CBA customer who passed away last year – had lost “thousands of dollars” due to CBA bank tellers “spruiking financial products” that are meant for qualified advisers.
CBA executive general manager, advice review program, Leif Gamertsfelder has responded to this report, saying that “any suggestion in this case that a frontline branch staff member provided personal advice or provided a product to meet a sales target is completely incorrect”.
“The Financial Ombudsman Service reviewed this complaint and its determination in respect of this issue found in favour of the bank,” he said.
“There is a record of the interaction between the branch staff member and the customer. This confirms that Mr Kataryna directed his funds to be placed into an at call account so that he could complete the construction of his new home under contracts he had already entered into."
"In this case, there is no record of personal advice because personal advice was not provided.”
Mr Gamertsfelder added that branch staff members’ remuneration and performance are assessed using a “balanced approach” of customer service, individual and overall branch performance.
“In addition, they must meet regulatory and compliance hurdles, adhere with our organisational values and do the right thing for customers,” he said.
The customer in this case, however, did receive inappropriate advice from a financial planner.
“Mr Kataryna registered for the Open Advice Review program, which has reviewed the personal advice provided to him by a financial planner to determine whether it was appropriate or not,” Mr Gamertsfelder said.
“Mr Kataryna received his assessment outcome letter shortly before he passed away, which found that some of the personal advice he received from a financial planner was not appropriate.”
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