Commonwealth Bank

Information about Commonwealth Bank

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In October 2008 former CBA financial planner Jeff Morris alleged to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and subsequently a Senate Inquiry, the extent of the misconduct of CBA's financial planning arm, Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL), but it was not until 16 months later that ASIC would launch an investigation. "There was forgery and dishonest concealment of material facts," the Senate Inquiry found in its report. They concluded a Royal Commission or Judicial Inquiry as it was deemed ASIC lacked the investigative powers required to uncover the full extent of the allegations. A week following the Senate Inquiry, CEO Ian Narev publicly apologised while announcing a compensation scheme. Former CEO Ralph Norris also conceded that he was aware of problems within CFPL acknowledging the presence of rogue financial planners but rejected the assertion of a conspiracy to cover it up. CBA has been criticised in the Senate for appointing Dr. Brendan French, who was the General Manager of Group Customer Relations before, as the head of the Open Advice Review program. The CBA defended Dr. Brendan French successfully in a defamation lawsuit in 2015; the decision was a single judge decision and was not appealed. Criticism has also been leveled at the fact that Dr. Brendan French was formerly a member of the board of directors of the Financial Ombudsman Service and is now working in CBA with respect to customer complaints.