Over recent months, the Finance Sector Union of Australia has been advocating on behalf of AMP planners who have had the terms of their Buyer of Last Resort (BOLR) contract unilaterally slashed by AMP.
Prior to Christmas the FSU sought a legal opinion from a Senior Counsel specialising in commercial and contractual law, and that advice has been received and considered. In short, there are arguments for and against that it is impossible to weigh except through a court case. A case would be expensive (hundreds of thousands of dollars) and there is little doubt AMP would appeal, so proceedings would be extremely protracted. The FSU stresses that any final decision to proceed or otherwise with court action will be made in consultation with AMP planners who are financial members of the Union.
The FSU also met with the Federal Minister for Financial Services, the Honourable Jane Hume, prior to Christmas and briefed her on the matter. Minister Hume was receptive to the arguments we put and we undertook to keep her further informed. The FSU has similarly briefed the Federal Opposition spokeperson on Financial Services.
The FSU has also been in ongoing discussions with the Small Business Ombudsman’s office. They have advised that they have asked AMP to mediate with the planners who have approached them. AMP is yet to reply to this, and it is entirely likely the matter will be escalated and be brought further into the public domain.
The FSU is proposing to hold meetings with planners over the next fortnight to determine the next actions. The following are under consideration:
- A comprehensive media and public relations campaign;
- A formal request for intervention to Minister Hume;
- Provision of all relevant material and case studies ( by agreement ) to the Small Business ombudsman;
- Move for the establishment of public inquiries into the actions of AMP.
The FSU is proposing the following dates and locations for meeting:
FSU Melbourne Office – Friday 7th February @ 8.30am and 12pm
FSU Sydney Office – Monday 10th February @ 8.30am and 12pm
To attend please RSVP here: email@example.com
If you can’t attend in person or at these times, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with alternate times/locations.
We urge you to attend these important meetings, where we will outline the details of the legal advice and seek your approval for the steps outlined above.
We also encourage all planners to provide details of their matter to the Small Business Ombudsman’s office, as we will continue to brief them on AMP’s actions.
Finance Sector Union
Ph: 1300 366 378