February 24, 2015
NAB Wealth dismissed 37 advisers as a result of a review of its financial advice business, the group has confirmed.
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.