AMP is being called on to waive debts for those financial planners facing AMP-imposed reduced buyback values and is urged to formally commit to mediation as it moves to exit up to 250 financial planning businesses.
The call comes from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell who says, in a media release, that more than 80 AMP financial planners have approached her office in the past few months “and many of them are telling us they face financial ruin as a result of AMP’s new exit terms”.
“Many of those planners who borrowed from AMP to buy into the business at a set price, now face losing their homes and their livelihoods, as the financial institution seeks to impose a three-year restriction on working as a financial planner,” she says.
“My office has met with AMP and although they signalled they were open to mediation, they have yet to confirm their participation.
“It’s critical these small business owners have clear information about their financial position before making any big decisions about their future…
“It’s critical these small business owners have clear information about their financial position before making any big decisions about their future. Mediation would be one way of providing that much-needed clarity,” she adds.
“We’ve called on AMP to waive debts for those financial planners facing AMP-imposed reduced buyback values.
“AMP has also been asked to extend its termination deadline, so that a resolution may be reached.
“Small businesses in the financial planning industry have faced a great deal of turmoil in the aftermath of the Banking Royal Commission, with hundreds of planners bearing the brunt of brutal restructures and fire sales by banks and wealth funds,” Carnell states.
“We remain concerned about a number of behaviours that may include the conduct of lookback audits, financial planning licensors shifting responsibility for client compensation payments to licencees, short notice periods provided to licencees exiting the business and restraint of trade provisions.”
The statement says that any small or family business that has been impacted by changes in the financial planning sector is encouraged to share their story via firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a request for assistance via an Online Form. Click here for the link.