ASIC has commenced Federal Court proceedings against Westpac in relation to alleged poor financial advice in relation to one of its advisers.
In four sample client files, the adviser:
- breached the best interests duty under the Corporations Act (the Act);
- provided inappropriate financial advice; and
- failed to prioritise the interests of clients.
Notably, this adviser’s conduct was not discussed in the recent hearings of the Royal Commission.
ASIC has brought proceedings against Westpac for a breach of:
- the best interests duty under section 961K of the Act;
- Westpac’s general licence obligations to:
- do all things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by its licence are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly under ss912A(1)(a); and
- comply with financial services laws under ss 912A(1)(c).
Westpac has a significant remediation program underway in relation to this adviser’s conduct.
As at 14 June 2018, $12 million has been paid to clients affected by the poor advice and ongoing advice service failures. The proceeding is listed for a directions hearing in Sydney on 19 July 2018 at 9:30am.