- ASIC is and has been investigating AMP's conduct in relation to 'fees for no service' (FFNS) as raised in the evidence given at the Royal Commission.
- This investigation has involved the FFNS conduct and related false or misleading statements to ASIC. ASIC has, as part of its investigation, received many thousands of documents and undertaken 18 examinations of AMP staff. ASIC is also ensuring that compensation is paid to impacted AMP clients.
- ASIC has been cooperating with the Royal Commission on a range of matters that include both current and previous investigations.
- More broadly, all financial institutions need to understand the importance of co-operating with the regulator and complying with the law when providing information to ASIC. Making false or misleading statements to ASIC can result in civil and criminal sanctions.
- In accordance with our general policy on public comment we will not make further public statements about our investigation of these matters at this time.
It is the second-to-last dot point that should be considered with most pause. The Australian situation is different to the New Zealand one, laws are different, the superannuation environment is different, and the advice companies are different. People do make mistakes, and even make mistaken breaches of the law, and often, in commercial arrangements mistakes can be corrected - fees repaid, for example. I guess what ASIC is underlining here is that co-operation with the regulator is the best policy when such problems are found. I am aware of situations in New Zealand where companies have dobbed themselves in to the regulator, and have had situations dealt with in ways which successfully resolved the problem.