ANZ to Pay $4.5 Million in Compensation After Compliance Review

The Australian watchdog announces that ANZ Group has agreed to an independent review of its OnePath subsidiaries’ compliance.

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), the national regulator of local financial companies, has issued concerns about the activities of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). As a result, the entity has decided to carry out an audit of its OnePath subsidiaries, according to the ASIC statement.

The local watchdog highlighted a number of violations related to ANZ Group’s activities in the field of fund management and insurance services. Operations in this area are supported by a number of the firm’s auxiliaries, operating under the OnePath brand.

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During a period of more than two years (2013-2015) over 1.3 million clients suffered from licensing violations – refunds and compensation in their cases has been estimated at $4.5 million. Other remediation and rectifications associated with the case may reach even $49 million.

ASIC indicated that compliance issues may have affected the licenses granted by the Australia Financial Services (AFS) to individual subsidiaries of the ANZ Group. As a result, the company has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct an independent assessment of the compliance management framework within the subsidiaries.

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According to Peter Kell, ASIC Deputy Chair, in a recent statement on the warning: “Appropriate compliance and systems to monitor compliance are essential for banks to adhere to their AFS obligations. This is important in maintaining customer trust and confidence in the sector.”

“ASIC expects all AFS licensees to have systems in place to ensure they can satisfy their general AFS obligations,”  he added.

Breaches mentioned by ASIC primarily concerned OnePath Custodians Pty Ltd, OnePath Life Limited, OnePath General Insurance Pty Limited and OnePath Funds Management Limited. According to an official press release, the entities did not provide adequate documentation regarding certain insurance products, systems or processes to ensure compliance and extended the time needed to identify some of the violations and breaches.

Last time Finance Magnates reported on the activities of the Australian regulator was in late February when it suspended the AFS license of Traders4Traders. The ability to provide financial services in the watchdog’s jurisdiction will be restored on April 21, 2016 at the earliest.

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