The shareholders association says AMP chairman Catherine Brenner must resign

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  • The Australian Shareholders Association has added its voice for calls for changes to the board at AMP.
  • “The Chairman Catherine Brenner’s position is untenable.”
  • All the directors have a “significant credibility problem” to overcome.

The Australian Shareholders Association says AMP chairman Catherine Brenner must resign over admissions made by the company to the financial services royal commission.

AMP admitted in the commission to making false or misleading statements to the corporate regulator ASIC about the “fee for no service” issue where customers were charged for financial advice they didn’t get.

“The Chairman Catherine Brenner’s position is untenable and she should either resign immediately or step down until such time as the independent investigation has taken place,” the association says in its AGM voting intentions paper.

“At the same time AMP must urgently appoint some additional well credentialed, untainted people to the board.”

The association, the peak body representing retail shareholders in Australia, will also vote against AMP’s remuneration report at the company’s next AGM.

“The need for new blood and fresh attitudes on the Board is clear,” says the association.

The association says there are three different but related governance matters.

“The first is how AMP’s culture and processes allowed the original unethical practices before 2016 to occur,” the association says.

“The second for the directors is how much they knew of the misleading responses to ASIC and even more so the alleged interference with the Clayton Utz report.

“Third, why did the directors not order an immediate extensive external review when they were first informed of a series of breaches in the wealth management area?

“All the directors, not just the three-facing election at this AGM, have a significant credibility problem to overcome.”

The position of the association follows the peak superannuation body urging the board of directors of AMP to take responsibility or face a shareholder backlash.

The powerful Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has given the board of AMP to the end of this week to take some responsibility for the scandal.

The CEO of AMP, Craig Meller, resigned and chairman Brenner has apologised but there have been no changes to the board of directors.

Members of ACSI include 38 Australian and international asset owners and institutional investors. Collectively, they manage $2.2 trillion in assets and own on average 10% of every ASX200 company.

AMP also now faces a potential class action, one of Australia’s biggest by investors, following revelations of misconduct.

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