There has been an 85 per cent, or $9 billion, increase in loans approved by lenders that fall outside their own tough new lending criteria, with the major banks the biggest offenders, according to analysis by the prudential regulator.
From tomorrow, small businesses with a complaint about a financial firm can direct their grievances to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said today.
The dodgy financial products that have become the hallmark of the banking royal commission could be stopped from sale if the corporate cop gets its way on new legislation being considered by the government.
The corporate regulator has taken action against four firms for their misleading use of the restricted terms 'independent' and 'independently owned'. ASIC has forced Financial Spectrum, James Gerrard (authorised representative of Australian Financial Advisory Group), PWK Private Wealth Advisors (AR of Paragem) and Debbie Hudson Financial Services (trading as Wealth Fusion) to amend "false claims of independence".
ASIC has initiated civil penalty proceedings against Westpac in relation to a Perth financial planner whose poor advice has already seen the bank foot a $12 million bill to remediate clients. Sudhir Sinha provided financial advice in the Perth area as an employee of Westpac between 2001 and 2014 before the bank dismissed him. Westpac identified compliance concerns in Sinha's advice and in June 2017, ASIC banned Sinha from providing financial services for a period of five years as a result of his failure to meet his ongoing advice service obligations.