BTFG to Expand APL Beyond Westpac Life

BT Financial Group (BTFG) will expand its life insurance approved product list (APL) from one to three products by March 2018 while continuing to maintain its off APL process for advisers.

BTFG GM Advice and Private Wealth, Jane Watts

At present, Westpac Life is the only insurer available to advisers employed by the bank which stated that advisers “…can recommend products both on and off the APL depending on what they believe best meet the needs of their clients”.

“Over the past four years every adviser request to use an insurance product not on the APL was approved, with seven different insurers being recommended more than 1600 times over the last 12 months alone,” BTFG stated.

The group claimed that its current APL and off APL process was designed to ensure BTFG met its best interest duty obligations but would move towards adding more life insurers in the following months with an expected minimum of three by March 2018.

“…every adviser request…was approved, with seven different insurers being recommended more than 1600 times over the last 12 months…”

BTFG General Manager – Advice and Private Wealth, Jane Watts said the process for selecting other insurance products would begin soon, followed by training for advisers on the new products in early 2018.

“We will be going through a rigorous selection process supported by independent input to make sure the insurance options on our APL meet the demands we expect around the quality of product we recommend to our clients,” Watts said.

“We are doing this methodically to ensure we get great quality additional cover on our APL and we will take the time to make sure our advisers are highly trained in them so we deliver a strong outcome for our customers,” Watts added.

The expanded APL will not lead to any changes in the off APL process which BTFG stated took around two days to approve a policy for an insurer outside of its APL.

The announcement follows news that Westpac is facing a potential class action in regards to the charging of different levels of premium on insurance advice received through BTFG (see: Westpac to Face Class Action Over Premiums).