A dealer group wholly owned by Commonwealth Bank-linked Countplus has completed an ASIC-led compliance and remediation program which resulted in $2.5 million in compensation payouts to clients.
Sydney-based dealer group Total Financial Solutions (TFS) has completed a remediation and compliance program it commenced in September 2015 as part of a set of licensing conditions imposed on it by ASIC in September 2015.
The licensing conditions were placed on the practice after the regulator found that one of its authorised representatives, Brian Dobinson, had provided inappropriate advice and not acted in the best interests of clients.
The Queensland-based Mr Dobinson received a permanent ban from providing financial advice.
Total Financial Solutions chief executive Andrew Kennedy said in a statement that the business had undergone large changes to its internal structure as part of the compliance and remediation program.
“The unfortunate legacy circumstances the firm discovered, combined with a current broader industry sentiment of ‘trust deficit’ among many consumers of financial advice, created the opportunity to completely overhaul the fundamental practices of the TFS operation,” the CEO said.
“A new management team and board, together with expert legal and compliance advisers, overseen by the regulator, have undertaken a forensic examination of our business, its procedures and policies. The top-to-bottom rebuild has not only satisfied the corporate regulator but we believe sets up TFS for an immediate return to promoting the firm and recruiting advice businesses aligned around our enduring client-centric, professional advice principles.”
Countplus chief executive Matthew Rowe said the conclusion of the program also marked the beginning of a new chapter for the business.
“Culture is set from company leadership. For the community of member firms within Countplus, this means the company will continue to embed, invest in and defend our hard-fought cultural changes aligned to best practice advice and standards,” Mr Rowe said.
“Striving for excellence in all aspects of our business is critical, and we expect the highest standards from our advisers to deliver the best quality, client-centric work.”
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