[Shine Lawyers] National [Class Actions] Lead, [Jan Saddler], says the new allegations that AMP's Financial Advisors were pressured to sell in-house products to customers seeking financial advice is akin to their investigation into Westpac's practices.
This morning, the ABC has revealed that financial advisors at AMP were under pressure to sell AMP products even if they were an inferior product.
"The fact that there was a lot of pressure on financial advisors to only recommend AMP products to AMP clients is alarming."
"This would be fine if the product is the best for client's circumstances. The message being conveyed by this whistleblower suggests that there was an expectation that AMP would be recommended regardless of whether or not there were better products on the market."
"Under the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) enacted in 2015, an obligation is imposed on financial advisers to act in the best interest of your client and when looking at your products and the client, that must involve a consideration of a range of products that are the best fit for your client's needs, not just the company you work for," said Saddler.
Saddler said, the allegations made are consistent with Shine Lawyers' investigation against Westpac.
"In our investigation, the financial advisors only had Westpac life products available to recommend to Westpac customers seeking financial advice in respect of life insurance."
"If Westpac and AMP are doing it, it's another example of the systemic issues within the industry."
"Shine are investigating this very issue against [AMP] and other banks more broadly. If you or your clients have been affected in this way then please get in touch with us" said Saddler.
About Shine Lawyers' Westpac Action:
On 12 October 2017, Shine Lawyers commenced a class action on behalf of persons (including superannuation funds) who have obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life on the recommendation of financial advisers at Westpac, St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA or BT Advice.
Since at least October 2011, such customers have been routinely charged higher premiums that persons who obtained identical insurance issued by Westpac Life on the recommendation of independent financial advisers.
The class action claims that Westpac should not have preferred its own interests at the expense of those customers, and that they should be compensated for the excess premiums.