Another TV investigation has brought to light the dodgy practices of financial advisors around the world, keeping the industry on its toes.
The TV network ABC aired an episode of its Four Corners program Monday night coined ‘Banking Bad,’ examining the sales-driven culture behind financial planning.
The program highlighted the practices of rogue financial advisors within the Commonwealth Bank planning arm, following a special investigation by Fairfax Media and ABC.
The investigation centred on Don Nguyen – once considered a ‘star’ financial planner – who was banned from providing financial advice until 2018, alongside seven other Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) planners.
Nguyen – whose banning sparked an inquiry by the Senate into the slow speed at which the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) handled the investigation into the 2008 scandal – told the network he was set up, claiming he was never interrogated by the bank for his actions, and that the advice he gave to clients was "within the Commonwealth Bank guidelines.”
No one ever said “Don, this is too much, don't do this,” he said.
Working in what has been described as “a flawed compliance structure and aggressive sales culture,” Nguyen, allegedly veered hundreds of clients towards inappropriate products, forged signatures, overcharged on fees and created unauthorized accounts for clients without their permission.
Nguyen argues that his clients were “financially educated” and understood exactly what they were signing. "Sorry, how can these people all come up to you and say 'Oh, I don't know what I've signed,’” he told the TV network. (continued)