Over 4600 register for CBA review program


By Julie May

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) Open Advice Review program has attracted 4610 registrations to date, according to an initial report released by independent expert Promontory Financial Group today.

Total cases registered equalled 4702, however 92 of those had since opted out of the program.

The review and remediation program is designed to identify and compensate for poor financial advice that might have been provided to customers of CBA licensees Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012.

Promontory said in recognition of the unique features of the program, CBA was also conducting a pilot program to test the adequacy and robustness of processes it would use to assess customer cases under the program.

The pilot involves an assessment of a limited number of cases and is scheduled to be completed in January 2015.

On 12 October 2014, CBA provided a preliminary update to Promontory on the program, including statistics on the number of customers who had registered to be included.

At the time of that update, CBA notified Promontory that the program had received registrations from about 4200 customers.

CBA chief executive Ian Narev said he was pleased the report acknowledged the significant progress made in establishing the framework for the Open Advice Review program that was designed to deliver fair and consistent outcomes for all registered customers.

“We believe the initial report prepared by the program’s independent expert demonstrates our commitment to transparency,” Narev said.

“It gives the public visibility of the processes we have established to ensure all registered customers are treated fairly.

“We hope that this and future reports to be released by Promontory will build confidence in the processes we are following and show that we are committed to doing what we said we would do - making things right for our customers.”

Promontory said it would provide regular updates on the development of the program, including the number of customers who had progressed through various stages of the program.

Promontory expects to publish its next report in May 2015, which will cover developments in the program up to the end of April 2015.

Customers still have a right to pursue matters with the Financial Ombudsman Service if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the program.

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