Suncorp Life and Superannuation Limited (Suncorp) has recently completed a remediation program, which impacted over 4,000 clients of Suncorp-owned GuardianFP Limited (Guardian Advice).
Suncorp paid $1,431,167 in compensation to Guardian Advice clients who had received poor advice.
Suncorp undertook the remediation program after ASIC imposed additional licence conditions on the Australian financial services (AFS) license of Guardian Advice because a surveillance uncovered deficiencies in the life insurance advice provided by Guardian Advice to retail clients (15-003MR).
ASIC was concerned that Guardian Advice had failed to comply with its general obligations as an AFS licensee, including monitoring and supervising its representatives and ensuring they were adequately trained or competent. A number of clients suffered harm a result of these failures.
When Suncorp announced that it would exit the financial planning business carried on by Guardian Advice in November 2015, ASIC obtained a commitment from Suncorp that it would complete the remediation program provided for in the additional licence conditions and fund the compensation of Guardian Advice clients (15-353MR).
Additionally, Suncorp undertook to compensate clients who may have been at risk of having received poor advice from ‘high-risk’ advisers, who were identified using a range of risk metrics applied to all advisers in the Guardian Advice network. Affected clients were also compensated under this remediation program.
Suncorp’s remediation program was overseen by independent experts.