<strong style="line-height: 1.
538em;”>PM non-committal on calls for probe into Commonwealth Bank
Commonwealth Bank says it is sorry some of its financial advisers failed customers, but denies it has downplayed the wrongdoing and tried to minimise its compensation.
A parliamentary committee report has slammed the bank and the corporate regulator after investigating the response to bank whistleblowers who alerted authorities to suspect conduct by financial advisers.
That conduct, between 2006 and 2010, included the forging of client signatures to facilitate profit-producing product switches.
Retiring Labor senator Mark Bishop, who chaired the committee, said CBA failed to open its books and fully identify the number of clients affected and those entitled to compensation.
He said the bank’s focus was on downplaying the extent of wrongdoing and minimising the amount of compensation it had to pay.
CBA said it “strongly refuted” those accusations, as it had worked openly with the Senate committee and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The bank had since transformed its financial planning business, undertaking structural, cultural and management changes, it said.
“We reiterate our apology for the past events that occurred in our Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom businesses,” the bank said in a statement on Friday.
“We deeply regret that some of our financial advisers did not provide quality advice to customers, some of whom had trusted and banked with us for decades.
“We have no tolerance for behaviour that prejudices the financial wellbeing of our customers.”
The committee report made 61 recommendations, including for the establishment of a royal commission into the wrongdoing.
CBA said it would review the report before making a more thorough response.