June 20, 2018
BT Financial Group (BTFG) has removed almost all forms of grandfathered payments paid to salaried advisers operating under the Westpac/BT advice channels.
The change will take effect from 1 October 2018 and will not cover retail life insurance commissions or any advisers operating outside of BT who currently receive grandfathered payments from a BTFG product, however, the latter may request the payments are removed.
In announcing the move, BTFG said it had provided grandfathered payments to advisers in line with the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms which allowed arrangements in place prior to the commencement of FoFA to continue.
“We have considered this position…and decided that it is the right time to draw a line under these past arrangements…”
“It was generally understood at the time that grandfathering of those arrangements was necessary, at least in part, because legislators could not extinguish existing contractual rights without compensating those impacted by such a change,” BTFG explained, adding that, at present, 140,000 customer accounts were still subject to the payments.
“We have considered this position from both a customer and a stakeholder perspective and decided that it is the right time to draw a line under these past arrangements and eliminate them as far as we are contractually able,” the group stated
BTFG Chief Executive, Brad Cooper customer accounts held in BT superannuation, investment, group insurance and platform products will benefit from the change which were part of ongoing efforts to raise standards.
“Our announcement today builds on prior decisions to stop BT Financial Advisers receiving any benefit from stamping fees (despite being permitted under FoFA), ensuring that all BT Financial Advice ongoing advice customers receive an opt-in notice (not just those who joined after the FoFA reforms commenced as required by FoFA) and giving customers the opportunity to openly provide and review feedback through BT Adviser View,” Cooper said.