PwC completes high-profile review

The corporate regulator has confirmed that PwC has completed an independent review of one major bank’s wealth subsidiaries.

In March this year, ASIC announced ANZ-owned OnePath will be reviewed after ANZ reported breaches in relation to its life, general insurance, superannuation and funds management activities.

The review was conducted by PwC, and made six recommendations for improvements to OnePath’s compliance framework, according to a statement.

ASIC said around 1.3 million customers were affected by the breaches from early 2013 to mid-2015, requiring refunds and compensation of around $4.5 million, and also required rectifications and other remediation of about $49 million.

OnePath has now implemented four of PwC's recommendations and has committed to complete the other two by early 2017, the statement said.

ASIC said it will continue to monitor OnePath’s implementation of the final two recommendations. The statement does not explain what the recommendations are.

According to ASIC’s March announcement, 1,400 superannuation fund members had $28.7 million in contributions allocated to the incorrect super account for a period up to 12 months.

ANZ has now returned these funds to the correct accounts and provided over $400,000 in compensation for lost earnings and/or incorrect fees, the statement said.

OnePath also failed to take further action in relation to 21,000 cheques it had sent to customers that were not banked within 15 months.

These cheques included proceeds of insurance claims, superannuation benefits and refunds of premiums. $2.9 million was ultimately returned to customers, with a further $11.6 million treated as unclaimed monies.

Other breaches included failure to provide disclosure documentation for some insurance products and having inadequate systems or processes to ensure compliance.

"In some cases processes did not ensure reasonable steps were taken to contact customers or that statutory timeframes were met. Some processes included manual steps that were not followed up on," ASIC said at the time.

Further, there was insufficient supervision of some outsourced functions as well as some processing errors, such as payments made to incorrect superannuation accounts, ASIC said.

 

 

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