ASIC has decided to end an investigation into alleged criminal conduct by an AMP financial advice business, relating to fees-for-no-service breaches.
The regulator declared on Friday (16 July) that it would be taking no further action, after investigating suspected criminal conduct by AMP Financial Planning, where it allegedly charged fees for no service in relation to its buyer of last resort (BOLR) policy.
The suspected behaviour would have been in breach of section 1041G (prohibition on dishonest conduct) of the Corporations Act 2001, with further potential violations of section 1308(2) (prohibition on making misleading statements).
ASIC has decided to finalise its inquiry following consultation with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
The CDPP determined that no charges should be brought, on the basis of the available evidence and weighing relevant public interest factors.
ASIC has been conducting investigations into fees-for-no-service conduct into entities within the AMP Group, including the BOLR policy conduct, which had resulted in evidence being referred to the CDPP in mid-2020.
However, ASIC’s investigations into other allegations of fees-for-no-service conduct within the AMP Group are continuing.
The regulator has also investigated a number of alleged civil contraventions by entities within the AMP Group.
In May, ASIC launched a civil lawsuit in the Federal Court against five companies within the AMP Group that allegedly charged fees to dead customers.
ASIC has investigated the fees-for-no-service issue across Australia’s largest banking institutions, which as at 31 December, had seen companies pay customers $1.24 billion in compensation.
AMP had paid more than $153 million to over 200,000 customers as at the end of 2020.
Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.
Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.
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