Clayton Utz and its client AMP, the country's oldest life insurer and owner of the country's largest financial advisory network, have become mired in a Royal Commission investigation. Clayton Utz partners have been accused of being influenced by their client AMP in producing a so-called independent review of misconduct at the financial services giant, and putting shareholders before clients.
CEO gives evidence
AMP group executive Jack Regan appeared before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and was questioned about a review of its controversial client book buyback policy conducted by Clayton Utz. Evidence had been uncovered that AMP reviewed 25 drafts of an expert report it commissioned from the law firm. Closing the first day of proceedings, commissioner Ken Hayne said he considered the evidence of the Clayton Utz report to be significant, and 'In view of the evidence given by Mr Regan, there may be some question about what conclusions, if any, I may reach about the extent to which senior management or others associated with AMP sought to influence or did influence content of the report by Clayton Utz apparently submitted to ASIC as an independent report.'
Calls for tighter regulation
The Royal Commission’s second round of hearings on financial advice and wealth management continues today, amidst calls by senior political and business figures for tighter regulation on poor conduct in the financial advice sector.