AMP to defend ASIC court proceedings

AMP has responded to ASIC’s filing of court proceedings against it, describing the conduct as “historic” and placing blame squarely at the feet of an individual adviser.

Yesterday, ifa reported that the corporate regulator has initiated Federal Court proceedings against AMP Financial Planning for alleged breaches of the FOFA best interests duty.

Subsequently, an AMP spokesperson told ifa that the embattled wealth giant intends to file a defence in “due course” and will be co-operating with the corporate regulator in the interim.

“ASIC has today commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against AMPFP in relation to historic conduct by advisers who engaged in the practice of replacing, or ‘rewriting’, life insurance policies of clients,” an AMP spokesperson said.

“ASIC’s pleadings in particular identify the conduct of a former AMPFP adviser, Rommel Panganiban, who engaged in insurance rewriting.

“AMPFP removed Mr Panganiban’s authorisation in 2014 and reported his conduct to ASIC. Mr Panganiban was subsequently banned by ASIC in 2016.

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“AMP is apologising to the customers impacted by Mr Panganiban’s actions and they are currently being compensated.

“We have continued to enhance our monitoring and supervision activities to monitor the writing of new insurance policies.”

An ASIC spokesperson has subsequently confirmed to ifa that the court proceedings related to a total of “six contraventions”.

AMP has described the conduct in question as “historic” but ASIC’s statement alleges the behaviour occurred in 2013 with an investigation commenced in 2014.

In May 2016, the Federal Court dismissed an application from Mr Panganiban seeking an order to restrain ASIC from banning him.

The proceedings come as AMP faces criminal charges over alleged illegality uncovered by the royal commission, including making false and misleading statements to ASIC.

AMP to defend ASIC court proceedings
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