Suncorp has completed a program of remediation that impacted over 4,000 clients of licensee Guardian Advice almost four years after its decision to shut down the licensee.
It paid $1,431,167 in compensation to Guardian Advice clients who had received poor advice, according to ASIC.
ASIC said that when Suncorp announced that it would exit the financial planning business carried on by Guardian Advice in November 2015, it obtained a commitment from Suncorp that it would complete the remediation program provided for in the additional licence conditions and fund the compensation of Guardian Advice clients.
Suncorp undertook the remediation program after ASIC imposed additional licence conditions on Guardian Advice because a surveillance uncovered deficiencies in the life insurance advice provided by Guardian Advice to retail clients.
The corporate regulator noted concerns that Guardian Advice had failed to comply with its general obligations as a licensee, including monitoring and supervising its representatives and ensuring they were adequately trained or competent, and that a number of clients suffered harm as a result of these failures.
Additionally, ASIC said Suncorp undertook to compensate clients who may have been at risk of having received poor advice from ‘high-risk’ advisers, who were identified using a range of risk metrics applied to all advisers in the Guardian Advice network, and that affected clients were also compensated under this remediation program.
Suncorp’s remediation program was overseen by independent experts.
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