‘Look out for number one’ is no longer just a piece of advice, it’s becoming a necessity in the society we live in.
With more news surfacing about the unethical behaviour from AMP Limited this week, we have to ask ourselves the question: Are we are doing enough to ensure we’re not being taken advantage of?
It’s not an easy question to answer.
Now, I’m not saying that we should feel accountable for the actions of some senior executives.
We place our trust in them, as they are qualified to give advice and in most cases have a far better understanding of the laws than we do.
At least, we thought they did.
Reported in the Australian Financial Review this week was and interview in relation to an AMP whistleblower who worked in the AMP corporate superannuation division from 2014–2016. They were concerned to find staff discussing methods that could be used to get around the laws designed to end commissions and separate general and personal advice.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse
Business Developments Managers were said to have attended training sessions to advise staff of restrictions imposed by the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation, and openly discussed how to find loopholes in it.
When the whistleblower made mention of this to one of the managers, she was allegedly advised ‘You need to be careful be careful.’
AMP made a statement in regards to the whistleblower saying:
‘AMP fully supports FoFA and does not stand for behaviour or practices that contravene or undermine the regulations. We encourage any staff member — including former staff — to come to us with any concerns they have.’
Unfortunately, sometimes this trust is misplaced.
Is there a silver lining? I think so.
Maybe in the future, we’ll do research into the companies that we are giving our hard-earned dollars to. Maybe, instead of just taking the first piece of advice that is given to us, we get a second opinion. Maybe, we’ll just avoid them completely and do what we think is best.
In a time where we can’t even trust our own financial advisers to give us sound advice, the time has come to take back control of not just or money, but our futures as well.
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