One of Australia's top financial firms is in crisis

Australia's leading wealth management firm is battling a full-blown crisis.AMP said Monday that its chairwoman...

Posted: Apr 30, 2018 2:37 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2018 2:37 PM

Australia's leading wealth management firm is battling a full-blown crisis.

AMP said Monday that its chairwoman, Catherine Brenner, has resigned with immediate effect after a public inquiry was told that the company routinely overcharged its customers and misled regulators.

The inquiry into Australia's financial sector has prompted other senior leaders to leave AMP, which manages more than $150 billion in assets. Its share price has plunged about 25% in a matter of weeks to its lowest level in more than five years, wiping out nearly $3 billion in market value.

The company's CEO, Craig Meller, quit 10 days ago after damaging revelations about the firm's practices emerged during public hearings by the government-established Royal Commission.

On Friday, the commission heard evidence that AMP billed clients for financial advice that it never provided and then attempted to mislead the country's financial regulators over the matter. Some experts say AMP could face criminal charges as a result.

"I am deeply disappointed by the issues at hand and am particularly concerned for the impact they have had on our customers, employees, advisers and shareholders," Brenner said in a company statement announcing her resignation.

AMP's general counsel is also leaving. And the company said it will cut the fees that the directors on its board receive by 25% for the rest of 2018.

Brenner's interim replacement, Mike Wilkins, said AMP is treating the evidence presented to the commission "extremely seriously" and that "appropriate steps are being taken to address the issues raised."

Related: Australia's top bank says it charged dead clients for advice

Founded almost 170 years ago, AMP is Australia's top wealth manager for retail investors. It says it has around four million customers.

A Royal Commission is Australia's highest form of public inquiry. It was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the end of last year in a bid to restore public confidence in the country's financial sector. Turnbull had previously resisted calls to establish a Royal Commission.

On Monday, he said Brenner made the right decision to step down. "They have got to take responsibility for what has gone on and make the appropriate steps," Turnbull said of bank executives.

The inquiry was set up following several big scandals in the industry, including alleged interest rate-rigging and money laundering. The commission is due to submit its findings to the government in February 2019.

AMP isn't the only big financial firm that's been targeted by the commission. At Friday's hearing, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank were among the other Australian lenders singled out for the practice of "fees for no service," or charging clients for financial advice they never received.

During one hearing earlier in April, Commonwealth Bank admitted to billing deceased customers for financial advice for years. In one instance, an adviser at the bank's financial planning business was collecting fees from a client who had died more than a decade ago.

West Lafayette
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Kokomo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46387

Reported Deaths: 2662
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11434680
Lake4985241
Elkhart313343
Allen2695117
St. Joseph185766
Cass16369
Hamilton1502100
Hendricks1371100
Johnson1244118
Porter69037
Tippecanoe6598
Madison64363
Clark62744
Bartholomew58044
Howard55057
LaPorte54125
Kosciusko5003
LaGrange4646
Jackson4583
Vanderburgh4576
Noble45128
Delaware42949
Boone42743
Hancock42535
Marshall4183
Shelby41825
Floyd37044
Morgan32331
Montgomery29020
Grant28726
Clinton2812
Monroe26328
Dubois2616
White25910
Decatur24732
Henry23615
Lawrence23624
Vigo2278
Harrison20822
Warrick20729
Dearborn20622
Greene18432
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1557
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1296
Franklin1248
Steuben1242
Perry1239
Ripley1148
Jasper1132
Carroll1092
Wabash1092
Fayette967
Newton9610
Whitley814
Randolph774
Starke773
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson661
Washington651
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay594
Rush563
Benton480
Adams471
Gibson462
Owen451
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer331
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events