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Meller goes as AMP acts to repair battered brand

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AMP has vowed to clean up its act after years of corporate deception by senior executives was exposed during the royal commission on financial services misconduct.

As reported in a Breaking News bulletin last week, CEO Craig Meller quit on Friday with immediate effect.

Former IAG CEO Mike Wilkins, an AMP non-executive director, will take up the role while the embattled wealth manager searches for a replacement.

The company has announced a raft of actions, including an immediate review of its regulatory and governance processes, and a committee to assess issues around the advice business.

“AMP apologises unreservedly for the misconduct and failures in regulatory disclosures in our advice business,” Chairman Catherine Brenner said.

“We have been driving much-needed change and improvement in our advice business, which has undergone significant leadership and governance renewal over the past year, but we know we have much more to do. The board is determined that we will meet these challenges head on, accelerating changes in both culture and performance at AMP.”

The royal commission last week heard AMP lied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for almost a decade to cover up charging customers for advice that was never delivered.

AMP is now under investigation for providing false information to ASIC, the regulator says.

The probe is part of a wider investigation of the “fees for no service” evidence.

“Making false or misleading statements to ASIC can result in civil and criminal sanctions.” ASIC says.

“ASIC has, as part of its investigation, received many thousands of documents and undertaken 18 examinations of AMP staff. ASIC is also ensuring compensation is paid to affected AMP clients.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison says such behaviour may warrant jail terms.

“They have said they basically charged people for services they didn’t provide and they have admitted to statements that were misleading to ASIC and to their own customers, and this is deeply distressing,” Mr Morrison said.

“This type of behaviour can attract penalties that include jail time.

“That’s how serious these things are. I am very reassured by the fact these matters were already being pursued by ASIC and will continue to be pursued by ASIC.”