In 2009, smack dab in the middle of an investigation that cost the bank more than $20 million in client compensation, Mr. Nguyen resigned from his position citing illness. He is currently claiming $70,000 annually in a personal income protection policy, which he acquired with the Commonwealth Bank’s CommInsure division.
The Four Corners program also revealed that in a Commonwealth Bank document dated 2006, the bank labelled Nguyen’s as a “critical risk” – two years before a bank insider Jeff Morris exposed the misconduct to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The bank refused to comment on whether a breach report was sent to ASIC at this time the report was created.
Finally, the program looked into a separate case where the CBA denied a dying man Noel Stevens payout on his life insurance policy, forcing him to flight for the claim, highlighting the conflicts of interest when tellers and planners earn commission on product sales.
Back in February, CBC Marketplace conducted its own special investigation into the culture of financial advice delivered by Canada’s big banks, revealing that some advisors are giving consumers inaccurate, misleading and inappropriate advice. Caught on camera, those advisors with below-standard performance delivered questionable guidance including unrealistic promises for returns and inadequate risk assessments.
Industry Reaction to ABC's Four Corners "Banking Bad":
On the defense, the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) chief executive Mark Rantall told Australia’s Financial Standard: “Our members who are doing the right thing are clearly disappointed when we have negative reporting of one financial planner in the media.”
The CBA also released a statement: “We acknowledge we should have identified the problems earlier, and we should have acted more quickly once issues were found.
We have significantly transformed our business as a result of these events,” the bank said.
The ASCI’s deputy chairman Peter Kell admitted that the regulator should have acted faster, been more transparent and communicated better with whistleblowers.
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