People turn to financial advisers to help them make the most out of their money and investments, and to safeguard the future and wellbeing of their family. Unfortunately, sometimes this advice can be wrong, misleading or negligent.
There are rules defining how financial advisers should deal with their clients, these include:
A financial adviser is required to:
If you've received bad financial advice from a financial planner, financial adviser or broker, you may be entitled to compensation.
You may be entitled to compensation if you have lost money or experienced financial hardship as a result of bad financial advice, such as:
If you have received bad financial advice, you should start by making a formal complaint with your financial adviser and their company. If their response is unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the courts or to an industry complaints scheme such as the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
There are advantages and disadvantages when going to AFCA or court, and there are important time limits for lodging disputes. Maurice Blackburn's experienced financial advice dispute lawyers can advise you about this and represent you in the formal complaint stage as well as at AFCA or in court.
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
Receiving bad financial advice can have devastating consequences. Fighting a financial advice organisation and their insurer on your own is difficult, tedious, time-consuming and involves a lot of fine print and red tape.
Time limits also apply for many financial advice dispute claims. Our solicitors are experts in this area of financial advice dispute law. We will make the process easier for you by providing straight-forward legal advice—starting with whether you may have a legal case—and by working out your best course of legal action.
Get in contact today for an obligation-free first consultation.
The banking and financial service sectors have come under close scrutiny in Australia. Unlawful or unethical conduct by financial service providers who provided poor investment and insurance guidance has resulted in losses, and poor lending practices by banks and mortgage brokers have left borrowers in financial hardship.
We are not just talking about small fringe operators – Australia’s big banks have too often put profits before people and have left a trail of devastated customers.
Some large banks who gave many customers poor financial advice have set up compensation review programs—including the Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie and NAB. We understand how these programs work, and we can guide you through every step of the process.
In January 2018, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) published the results of a financial advice file review of the big 4 banks and AMP.
It revealed that three quarters of all financial advice provided by the big 4 banks and AMP was in breach of the law, particularly the duty to act in a customer’s best interests and the duty to provide appropriate advice.
The report found that on average the big 4 banks and AMP recommended customers invest in in-house product almost 70% of the time and advice was more likely to be unlawful where advisers recommended an in-house product instead of an external product.
An in-house product is a super fund, insurance policy, or other investment product that is owned by the same bank that the financial advisor works for. This practice is sometimes called ‘vertical integration’ and it has led to devastating outcomes for thousands of Australians.
Advisors often lacked the knowledge to properly consider a customer’s existing financial product such as the existing super fund.
Conflicts of interest by advisors are not being appropriately managed – advisors are often incentivised to sell their bank’s products in preference to a perfectly good external product, without properly explaining the reasons to the customer.
You may have a legal claim for compensation if you received financial advice from an advisor affiliated with one of the following organisations:
It’s not always clear whether you financial advisor is licenced through one of these companies because they often use different names. If you’re not sure we can help you find out.
If you think you might have received poor financial advice between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012 from Commonwealth Financial Planning or one of its associated entities, this review program may be able to help you get compensated for any financial losses.
Maurice Blackburn is acting as an Independent Customer Advocate, so we can give you advice and represent you during the review of your case. The Commonwealth Bank is paying for the Independent Customer Advocates, so you don't pay any fees to have Maurice Blackburn represent you.
Contact us today if you need representation. We will make sure your claim is dealt with properly and that you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
2015: On Thursday 29 January 2015, the Commonwealth Bank started to send about 350,000 letters to customers of Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited. The letters were sent to people who have product holdings through Commonwealth Financial Solutions and Financial Wisdom Limited, including Custom Solutions, CommInsure and CommSec, who received financial advice through Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited between 1 September 2003 and 1 July 2012.
The letter introduced the Commonwealth Bank Open Advice Review program, explained customers’ eligibility to participate in the program, and invited customers with concerns to contact them to find out more details. The letters were sent to deceased estates, individuals and business entities.
2017: In February 2017 it was confirmed that the CBA Open Advice Review program had completed all assessments for customers of Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited and Financial Wisdom Limited who had requested a review of their financial advice.
An appointed independent reviewer, Promontory Financial Group, reports on the program as it progresses. You can view their most recent report
Maurice Blackburn has already acted for individuals with financial advice disputes against Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited and Financial Wisdom Limited and run a class action on behalf of financial planning customers of Don Nguyen. A Maurice Blackburn principal also gave evidence at the Senate Inquiry, which led to the CBA Open Advice Review Program being set up.
If you think you might have received poor financial advice between 2003 and 2012, contact us for independent legal advice about the CBA Open Advice Review program and your rights. Time limits apply so contact us as soon as possible.
On 29 January 2013, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) announced it had accepted an Enforceable Undertaking from Macquarie Equities Ltd (MEL). ASIC is an independent Australian government body that acts as a corporate regulator and works to protect consumers, investors and creditors.
An investigation was carried out by ASIC that revealed serious and systemic problems with compliance at Macquarie Private Wealth, including cases in which Macquarie financial planning could not show a reasonable basis for the advice it had given out, and had failed to keep proper records for its clients.
Macquarie finance has since reached an agreement with ASIC to undertake an internal review; however, ASIC is not requesting that Macquarie's financial services audit every client's file, and there is no guarantee that Macquarie's internal review will find and compensate every client who received bad advice.
If you are a current or former client of Macquarie Private Wealth in any state or territory of Australia, and you think you've received poor financial advice from a planner resulting in bad performance by your investments, you should seek independent legal advice.
It is important to note that Macquarie's negligent record keeping may make it difficult for them to defend valid claims. Time limits apply so it is important to get proper advice soon. As ASIC conducts its investigations, you may be contacted by Macquarie finance or another entity about any investment advice received from its financial advisers.
Be aware that any information you give Macquarie Private Wealth or ASIC might be used against you if you decide to sue Macquarie finance. You should always get independent legal advice about how to respond to any requests for information.
Have you received financial advice from NAB since 2009? If so, you may be eligible to have your file reviewed through the process of the NAB’s Financial Advice Remediation program. Maurice Blackburn can provide independent legal advice to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Following a string of customer complaints against NAB’s financial planners, on 21 October 2015, the corporate regulator ASIC announced that an agreement had been reached with NAB (formerly National Australia Bank) whereby the bank will contact customers who may have received non-compliant financial advice since 2009.
NAB has begun what they refer to as a "look back" process intended to identify customers who were negatively affected by advice provided by the bank. Clients identified by this process will have their files reviewed to determine if compensation should be paid.
NAB will also provide affected customers with financial assistance up to $5,000 plus GST to seek professional independent advice where appropriate.
If you are a current or former client of NAB in any state or territory of Australia, who received what you believe to be poor financial advice from a planner and are unhappy with the performance of your investments, you should seek independent legal advice.
You also may have a claim even if you did not receive advice directly from NAB, but were advised by one of its subsidiaries:
If you have been offered financial compensation by NAB, It is worth getting independent legal advice before accepting. When offers of financial compensation are made, it can be tempting to take the first offer and put the experience behind you. However, the first offer is almost never the best one, and some cases have seen up to seven reviews before settling on a final—and significantly higher—offer of compensation.
Contact us today to talk about what we can do to get you the compensation you deserve.
Have you received financial advice from Financial Circle to purchase insurance products or switching superannuation providers? If so, you may be eligible for compensation.
On 2 November 2018 the Federal Court of Australia ordered Financial Circle to pay civil penalties of $8,980,000 in total after it engaged in numerous contraventions of financial services, credit and consumer protection laws. The Court found that in providing advice about purchasing personal insurance products and to switch superannuation providers, Financial Circle:
You should get independent legal advice if you are contacted by Financial Circle about this or if you are offered financial compensating. It's best to get legal advice before accepting any offer.
When offers of financial compensation are made, it can be tempting to take the first offer and put the experience behind you. However, the first offer is almost never the best one, and in some cases up to seven reviews may be needed before settling on a final—and significantly higher—offer of compensation.
Contact us today to talk about what we can do to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you've received bad financial advice, we are here to help. Our specialist lawyers have helped our clients recover millions of dollars from negligent financial advisors. Find out if you have a claim today.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.