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37 NAB Advisers Shown the Door

NAB Wealth dismissed 37 advisers as a result of a review of its financial advice business, the group has confirmed.

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn addressing the AICC

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn addressing the AICC

Following allegations by Fairfax Media of significant misconduct within its wealth business, NAB has admitted to exiting 37 people from planning roles over the last few years, because they did not meet the group’s standards.

Speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce event earlier this week, NAB CEO, Andrew Thorburn, said the staff had been shown the door because their professional standing and misconduct was not acceptable. He said the bank would now be looking back at all of the client files attached to those people who had been dismissed, as part of a broader and deeper review.

He also publicly expressed his support for Head of NAB Wealth, Andrew Hagger, whom he described as “an executive who wants the best for customers, whose passion for customers is excellent…”

This is going to be an ongoing, long journey

“We have led in education standards and through enterprise bargaining, we have moved to level commission structures for our life insurance products. But it’s clear, in our quest to be better, and to focus on customers and to do the right thing, (we) need to accelerate this course and we are going to do that,” Mr Thorburn said.

“This is going to be an ongoing, long journey that we’re committed to completing so that we do have the respect and trust of our people and of our customers.”

Mr Thorburn confirmed that NAB Wealth had conducted an independent review into its wealth business six months ago. He said the group would now be accelerating and strengthening some of the initiatives identified, including:

  • Reviewing all client files and writing to all customers when professional misconduct is identified in the future
  • Advising the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) of all advisers who leave NAB and the reasons why
  • Building an individual customer advocate into its complaints process
  • Improving its complaints process with a view to resolving issues within 45 days
  • Strengthening its whistleblower process

The recently revealed issues within NAB’s advice network have also prompted calls for new ‘FoFA-style’ regulations for the insurance sector. Click here for more.

  • BillB

    Gee Not a mention of management Reform. I will bet the old sales manager practices of a Tied Office are still at play for Bank advisers. Sack the rent-seeking bludgers upstream of the adviser and do not apply quotas

    I know from bitter experience that when a bank takes on a new business customer the first thing that happens is the existing life risk program goes. Its called Third Line Forcing girls, but the ACCC & ASIC will only act on customer complaints. What customer could be bothered !

    ASIC & FSC should tell us the percentage of product replacement attributable to Bank advisers. versus self-employed advisers, whether they work for a bank owned AFSL or not. The insurers know it because the prop requires disclosure of products to be replaced.

    Or is that piece of information deemed not necessary at the banks

  • Meike

    Its good to see NAB had already started taking action before this scandal hit the media, and had involved their regulators. I’m keen to know what happened to those 37 advisers? Are they still authorised reps? Have they simply been moved on to another bank or are they out of our industry altogether?

  • ken

    Many years ago now around 10 perhaps i was asked to do a talk to a group of “so called” financial Planners The porpose was to see if i could assist in working out why the retention rate on the banks books was only 67 % and why 30% of new business written in tthe past 12 minths lapsed.
    I was certainly not prepared for what i found ! Most of the group had only been in the industry 2-3 years were mostly in the mid to late 20’s and were not prepared for the questions i asked them. BY THE WAY THEY CAME FROM ALL OVER THE STATE AND CANBERRA. It was clear from the first 15 minutes that their understanding of the industry was minimal at best, their product knowledge extremly questionable and what they did know limited. What was suppose to be a twenty minute verse turned into 2 hours whilst i answered questions that they should have known according to thier experience and education.??

    You cannot put people through a “crash course” of say 6 weeks and then put them infront of clients who are expecting in many cases complex answers to there questions ! No wonder the persistency rates and retention of business was a problem i would think all confidence was lost at the first meeting.
    This is not to say it continues[ but going by the fact that 37 people are now out of a job it would be possible ??}I would love to know if the banks figures have improved over the past 10 years. It is not Commission issue’s that are causing these conflicts as so many other long term advisers have “screamed” from the rooftops it is lack of product knowledge and inability to translate correctly how the recommended product works compared to buying what ever “pops” up on TV. I wonder if any of these working groups ever think about the endless supply of answers to their questions come into them from advisers who know only to well the real issues effecting the industry.

  • Jason

    The issues goes above advisers and more towards the sales driven culture of senior management. You can bet 37 dismissed advisers were poor performers from both a sales and also compliance perspective with top sales staff retained regardless of their compliance history. Most banks differentiate between junior advisers limited to selling products up to a certain level and senior advisers. It’s about time the industry differentiates between those that are providing advice and those that are there to only move product.

    So they have dismissed 37 advisers but no mention of any senior management.