MLC advisers left in the dark on restructure

MLC has withheld critical information from advisers about the new roles, salaries selection processes and book values as part of the restructure of its advice business, according to the Finance Sector Union.

In August, MLC announced it would exit from the self-employed franchise models of MLC advice stores and NAB Financial Planning as part of a strategy “to create a simpler and more sustainable advice business”.

But in a letter to NAB’s general manager of financial planning and direct advice, Tim Steele, the FSU said it had engaged with “a significant potion” of employees since the announcement of MLC’s restructure of its advice business.

Of “significant concern” to the FSU was the lack of relevant information being made available to impacted employees well into the consultation period, with advisers left with many unanswered questions in relation to MLC’s proposal.

“Employees cannot understand why information relevant to the consultation process and necessary for decision-making has not been made available to them from the start of the consultation,” the FSU said.

“Role purpose statements are vague, salary rates have been withheld and book price information is still not available.”

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The FSU said there is widespread concern that the proposed structure will result in unachievable workloads for the staff that are left behind.

“With heavy workloads come errors – and the implications for staff around compliance errors can be severe, including exclusion from the industry,” it said.

“It seems that the lessons from the royal commission may have already been forgotten.”

The FSU also noted employee concerns as to why job swaps are not on the table.

“This would facilitate those employees who are no longer aligned with the direction MLC are moving in to depart opening opportunities for those who want to stay and remain employed,” it said.

“With less staff and more customers there is understandable concern about the working environment into the future and your obligations from both a Work Health Safety and Fair Work Act perspective.

“Given many questions remain unanswered for impacted employees it may be appropriate to extend the consultation period to allow employees to consider your responses to unanswered questions.”

The NAB consultation period is scheduled to close on 19 September.

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a features editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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