Promontory to oversee CBA’s advice review program


By Julie May

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Promontory Financial Group was named the independent expert for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) Open Advice Review program late yesterday afternoon.

The global consulting firm will review the processes of the Open Advice Review program and provide transparency by reporting the outcomes of the program publicly.

Promontory Financial Australasia chief executive Dr Jeff Carmichael will lead the global independent expert team, with Promontory Financial Group chief executive and founder Eugene Ludwig and Promontory advisory board vice chair Mary Schapiro to also play key roles.

CBA chief executive Ian Narev said Carmichael, Ludwig and Schapiro were all recognised as international experts on structure, design and effectiveness of regulatory process.

“Their monitoring and periodic reporting is crucial in delivering a program that will provide comfort and assurance to customers and others that the program is delivering an efficient, fair and consistent outcome,” Narev said.

Carmichael, who was the inaugural chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and a member of the Wallis inquiry into the Australian financial system, worked with the Reserve Bank of Australia for 20 years.

He was formerly the chairman of the Australian Financial Institutions Commission and the Queensland Office of Financial Supervision.

Ludwig served under President Clinton as US Comptroller of the Currency, the head of the federal agency responsible for supervising the majority of US banking assets.

Schapiro served as the 29th chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission from 2009 to 2012, and oversaw the implementation of comprehensive new financial regulations aimed at improving protections for investors.

CBA’s Open Advice Review program is designed to deliver an efficient, fair and consistent outcome for any customer of Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom who may have received poor financial advice between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012.

Under the program, customers will be entitled to free assessment of previous advice by a specialist CBA team. There will also be an independent forensic expert to address any concerns about improper documents.

A customer who does not agree or is concerned with the assessment will have the option of a further review by an independent review panel, which will be led by retired High Court justice Ian Callinan.

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