AMP hires head of whistleblowing in bid to regain customer trust

Pedro Gonçalves
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AMP hires head of whistleblowing in bid to regain customer trust

Australia's largest listed wealth manager AMP has appointed a former Commonwealth Bank executive to a new whistleblowing role 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.

Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank, Paterson was executive counsel/special counsel at Workdynamic Australia and managing partner at HPWI.

Risk has been placed at the core of AMP's culture and further enhancing risk management, governance and compliance continues to be a key initiative under AMP's new strategy"

At AMP, Paterson will be responsible for leading whistleblower awareness, training and investigations across the business.

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$2bn in customer remediation costs.

AMP chief risk officer Jenny Fagg said:  "Risk has been placed at the core of AMP's culture and further enhancing risk management, governance and compliance continues to be a key initiative under AMP's new strategy."

She added that Paterson's appointment is  recognition of how seriously AMP takes whistleblowing and the fact that it wants to help people feel comfortable speaking up.

"We have also made significant progress to overhaul our governance and organisational structures to create better independence and oversight of issues. Our activity has focused on improving policies, processes and systems and increasing the use of technology to create efficiencies," she said.

AMP last month posted its biggest half-year loss as a listed company and withheld a dividend for the first time. AMP shares have fallen by about 70% in value over the past 18 months.

AMP has introduced new risk processes to manage interactions with regulators and provide more comprehensive regulatory reporting to management and the board.

"We are delivering on our mandate to improve the way we manage risk across AMP. Our stakeholders, including our customers, expect us to manage our risk effectively and the commercial return on doing so is profound," Fagg added.

 

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