September 2, 2019 / 1:49 AM / 5 months ago

Australia's AMP hires former CBA executive to head whistleblower program

SYDNEY, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Australia’s largest listed wealth manager AMP Ltd on Monday appointed a former Commonwealth Bank executive to a new role as Group Whistleblowing Officer as it tries to regain customer trust following damaging revelations of misconduct.

AMP said its appointment of Anne-Marie Paterson, who will “lead whistleblower awareness, training and investigations across the business”, was part of a A$200 million ($135 million) two-year program to strengthen its risk, governance and controls.

A government-mandated Royal Commission inquiry into the banking sector last year heard evidence that AMP improperly charged fees to customers and attempted to deceive regulators, prompting a major shakeup of its management.

The Royal Commission also uncovered serious misconduct at Paterson’s previous employer, CBA, which has already cost that bank over A$2 billion ($1.35 billion) in customer remediation costs.

Paterson’s LinkedIn profile lists her as “People Resolution” executive manager for CBA since 2017. AMP’s statement said she was the Whistleblower Investigation Officer.

AMP Chief Risk Officer Jenny Fagg said the appointment was “in recognition of how seriously we take whistleblowing and to help people feel comfortable speaking up.”

“Our stakeholders, including our customers, expect us to manage our risk effectively and the commercial return on doing so is profound,” Fagg added.

AMP last month posted its biggest half-year loss as a listed company and withheld a dividend for the first time. It also announced a major overhaul, ending the majority of commission payments to AMP’s financial advisers and renegotiating agreements with its network of aligned advisors to slash the value of their businesses. ($1 = 1.4806 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Jane Wardell)

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