How ANZ Bank's count of poor financial advice to customers soared into the thousands

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The number of instances of poor financial advice given to ANZ Bank customers jumped to 2810 in 2015 from just 191 two years before, according to internal bank estimates.

Kylie Rixon, the bank’s Chief Risk Officer Wealth and Digital, came under questioning today at the financial services royal commission.

Internal documents tendered to the commission show the number of instances of “inappropriate” financial advice climbing over the last five years, as this chart shows:

Image: from numbers supplied by the ANZ Bank

Rixon says more cases may have been detected because the bank’s oversight had improved.

This year the number of identified inappropriate advice was 60.

“We are detecting many more instances because our control environment has improved,” she said

“It is certainly the case that, not all, but many of our controls have improved over that period and our supervision numbers have increased.”

The number of financial planners at the ANZ has been falling over the last decade.

In 2008 there were 1,379 but by 2018 there were only 879, made up of 277 employed advisers and 602 representatives.

Kylie Rizon, ANZ Bank. Image: Screenshot from royal commission webcast.

Asked why there were fewer advisers now, Rixon: “We have performance managed a number of advisers out of the business who have not met ANZ standards.”

In the last 12 months, the ANZ has performance managed 71 out of the business, either through termination or resignation.

“It is becoming harder and harder to recruit the right people with the right standards and qualifications,” she said.

Australia’s major banks face 15 different major inquiries, including the Royal Commission, following a series of scandals involving giving poor financial advice to customers.

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