AMP launches ‘hotlines’ to bury fears that dead clients pay fees

AMP launches ‘hotlines’ to bury fears that dead clients pay fees

“Dealing with deceased estates can be difficult and emotional,” a spokesman for the company said.

“This will help brokers and representatives of deceased estates.”

The new online service provides a detailed five-step guide for managing a deceased estate’s accounts and loans for administrators, executors and legal representatives of the deceased.

Backdated refunds

It also sets out the documentation required by AMP to enable access to information or transact on any deposit accounts or loans.

No fees will be charged upon receipt of notice of a death of a customer with a deposit account or loan. Fee refunds will be backdated to death and standard interest on loans continues to be payable.

Fees will continue to apply for joint deposit accounts or loans.

There are no written details on fees and premium payments for deceased life insurance customers.

AMP recently announced plans to sell its insurance division to Resolution Life for $3.3 billion.

It has also been introducing credit policy and responsible lending changes in response to industry reviews, prudential regulator recommendations and anticipation of reform proposals by the royal commission.

For example, it recently tightened lending criteria by raising minimum deposits, no longer lending to borrowers with five or more investment properties where related income represents more than 50 per cent of total income, cracking down on guarantors and asking borrowers aged over 50 to provide loan exit strategies.

Interview guides

It has introduced borrower interview guides imposing responsibilities on mortgage brokers and advisers to inquire about a customer’s requirements, objectives, financial situation and product and loan preferences.

More changes are expected over coming months as new chief executive Francesco De Ferrari reshapes his management team and unveils his business strategy.

But major distractions include preparing a defence against a major investor class action.

Five law firms arefighting to take on AMP’s class action, which promises to be one of Australia’s largest shareholder actionsafter the banking royal commission wiped $2 billion from the wealth giant’s market capitalisation in April.

Other financial giants, including CBA, the nation’s largest bank, are also scrambling to put in place new management, strategies and practices intended to head off royal commission recommendations.

The bank’s subsidiary, Count Financial, a financial advisory group, was exposed for charging customers for advice fees after they had died, with one planner charging a dead customer almost $1000 a year for advice for more than a decade.

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