It would take the woman 14 years to break even with those fees, a senior bank executive estimated.
The customer was told she could save $285 a year by rolling over her super into a new account but had to pay $3300 upfront for that advice plus $3790 in ongoing annual service fees.
The client gave the Millennium3 Financial Services planner the go-ahead, but the head of ANZ’s aligned licensees Darren Whereat admitted on Friday the advice was not appropriate.
The inquiry also heard an elderly widow on an aged pension went to the same adviser hoping to invest money in a $32,000 term deposit to earn $2000 a year. She was advised to put the funds into an investment wrap account with high upfront and ongoing costs including an $1150 a year ongoing advice fee. Someone with a $30,000 lump sum to invest at that age should never have been given that advice, Mr Whereat told the royal commission.
“I believe the right advice for the client at this stage was to not actually give the advice,” he said.
Meanwhile about 220 clients, many teachers and public servants, of another former ANZ financial adviser, will be compensated $766,000 for the bad advice they received.
So far 29 clients of the RI Advice Group representative have been paid $415,000. Senior counsel assisting the royal commission Rowena Orr QC asked if the community would expect it would take less than two or three years to remediate people when it was found they were given inappropriate advice. Mr Whereat agreed it was not acceptable.
“It’s not acceptable for our clients, it’s not acceptable for community standards and it’s not acceptable to our own standards.” Westpac was grilled for a second day about inappropriate advice issues, and the royal commission was told a former planner was trying to boost his bonus when he gave poor advice to numerous clients.
Westpac has had to refund $2.1 million to 91 customers of the adviser. BT Finance national head Michael Wright said one of the reasons the adviser gave inappropriate advice was to increase or maintain his share of revenue or his monthly bonuses.
Mr Wright said there were cases where ongoing advice was not provided, which was unacceptable.
“It was systematic. It looked, to me, deliberate. It’s unmoral,” he said. “I was very disappointed with that.
“And I think the only justification I could see was to sort of maintain your level of remuneration.”
Customers were also advised to replace products when there was no real value for them and the adviser recommended hybrid securities, for which he earned significant fees, when they were not suitable.