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Suncorp completes $1.43 million Guardian Advice remediation

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Suncorp Life and Superannuation has completed a remediation program under which it paid $1.43 million in compensation to 4000 clients who received poor advice from its Guardian Advice division.

Suncorp, which announced in November 2015 it would exit the financial planning business carried by Guardian Advice, compensated clients who may have been at risk of having received poor advice from “high-risk” advisers.

Guardian had hired dozens of advisers from AAA Financial Intelligence, a group which had its financial services licence cancelled by ASIC. The regulator then put Guardian under surveillance, imposed licence conditions in January 2015 and banned two Guardian financial planners.

“ASIC was concerned that Guardian Advice had failed to comply with its general obligations as an AFS licensee, including monitoring and supervising its representatives and ensuring they were adequately trained or competent,” ASIC said in a statement last week. “A number of clients suffered harm as a result of these failures.”

Guardian adviser Andrew Moroney was permanently banned by ASIC for churning after he annually recommended clients replace one life insurance policy with another, generating high commissions.

A year ago, Suncorp announced the sale of its Australian life insurance business to TAL Dai-ichi Life for $725 million. The deal includes a 20-year distribution agreement with TAL to offer life products via Suncorp’s local distribution channels.