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The toll taken by corrupt practices

Nearly 40 years ago, long before we fully realised the level of corruption in high places and in corporations, and when AMP was still a Mutual Provident Society, I worked for that organisation for 3 years.

For personal reasons, I needed to get back into full-time work, but the profession for which I was qualified – teaching maths – involved working with teenagers – and I was living with three at the time!

The likely stress levels associated with that option were unacceptable – my own children and I survived their childhood only because I have a strong sense of responsibility, and children do become human – eventually.

Three years was enough to convince me that I was better occupied teaching maths than selling insurance and superannuation packages, and the legacy of that time was a Personal Superannuation Portfolio (PS) and a Whole of Life Insurance Plan -the latter of which is already fully paid up and will ensure I can have a great celebration in about a decade, as it pays out when I am 95!

The proceeds of the PS scheme was eventually rolled over into an Allocated Pension, with AMP (their reputation had not yet been shredded) accompanied by my compulsory contributions to a Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme, and I continued using the advice of a qualified Financial Adviser with AMP whom I knew personally – as youngsters, he and my younger son had both played cricket in local teams = and whose advice I found satisfactory.

Another legacy was shares in a now demutualised AMP, which are currently of little value, paying no dividends as a result of AMP having its reputation well and truly trashed in the Banking Royal Commission!

A whole lot of reorganisation has gone on with AMP, as a result of which they have dismissed a significant number of their former financial advisers, including mine, under massively unfair circumstances.

I wish to continue using my adviser but AMP denies him access to my account. In fact it appears that they have denied him accreditation as a financial adviser.

I so not know how long it will take for the courts or tribunals and regulatory bodies involved in this issue to rectify matters, so in the meantime I am managing my own portfolio, which essentially restricts me to AMP linked products.

I am familiar with spreadsheets, can work online, understand the concept of trends and long term growth, but would still value advice from time to time – particularly in today’s financial upheaval.

Organisations which manage money need much more oversight from government appointed regulators than seems to be the case.

The aversion displayed by the government, into accepting the need for the Banking RC, gives us no confidence that the Coalition has any respect for integrity, transparency, or, in fact, any values which are respected by Australian people – excluding Peter Dutton.

And now they are denying us a Parliament using specious arguments to which they daily give the lie by their own behaviour.

I find it sad – I actually am appalled by the fact – that so many voters do not understand that this Coalition government lies and cheats its way into power, is supported by the most corrupt media empire the world has ever known and uses Gestapo-like propaganda tactics to smear the Opposition – which, to be truthful, is not exactly helping itself.

Oh for a magic wand, which would enable us to see a Fact Check result in a cloud above the head of every politician who tells a blatant lie. The down side of that is that we might never see the sun again!

AMP appears to have acted in a way which has quite wrongly put former advisers into massive debt, denied their ability to continue working as advisers, and denied clients the right to employ an adviser whose integrity they can trust.

Part of the new normal should be putting these wrongs to right!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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  1. Mr Shevill Mathers

    There is not a day goes by that I do not echo your sentiments regaring the non-government we are stuck with, for the time being at least. What is even worse is that without a more agressive opposition, we wil be stuck with another 4-years of this non-government. We have a one man band prime minister, totally out of his depth and unsuited for the position he holds, and surrounded by sycophants who get away with whatever they like, and there is nothing we can do about it. An incoming government at the next election, if indeed we do have one, will be lumbered with so many challenges including debts like Australia has never experienced, not an envious position to be in. On the subject of financial advisors and the AMP, sadly I was a victim of both, and after 10 years I eventually realised that in the investment / superannuation stakes, I was at the bottom of the totem pole when profits were distributed-so to speak. As a retiree, one cannot get back those lost 10-years and the loss of earnings on an average wage earner sum invested. In short I was royally screwed and my blood pressure goes up to even think about it. Please maintain your drive to rid this country of the curse which is taking Australia backwards at warp speed, those parts which we still own, that is!

  2. king1394

    My husband also fell into the trap of becoming an advisor with AMP. He was encouraged to leave a good job, and enticed with the promise of a generous retainer while he was setting up. Somehow it wasn’t made clear that every penny of that retainer would be taken back from his commissions. Training was abysmal, and focused on expensive motivational weekends, while the finer points of what was to be sold to whom were left to the advisor to work out. My husband was not good at returning to no longer satisfied customers to rewrite their policies. Advisors were also encouraged to sell to themselves in a bad week, so that there would be sales made against their names – but all those policies on the children etc. had to have premiums paid on them subsequently – we never recovered financially from two years working for AMP

  3. Ill fares the land

    Shevill – I feel the same way you do – every day I am sickened by our excuse for a PM and his band of corrupt and incompetent raiders.
    I disagree with one of your comments though. I am afraid that President Morrison (or King Morrison – either way, he sees himself as the now absolute authority in and ruler of Australia). He is very well suited to the horror that he has thus far and will continue to unleash on Australia and democracy. He envisions an Australia that is what it would have become had Howard (the Rat – his Canberra nickname) remained in power, although President Morrison has added his own perverted twist. His Pentecostal faith tells him that the pursuit of power and wealth is its own reward and also tells him that he should feel entitled to despise those who don’t covet wealth and privilege – or those who can’t attain either. In either case, their poverty is their just reward for their indolence and in President Morrison’s world, it is not the responsibility of governments to provide these reprobates and layabouts with a living income – of course this is sometimes subtly expressed so that hard working tradies in dual-cab utes, who are all convinced they don’t get anything by entitlement (apparently, deliberate policy settings to turbocharge the building and real estate sector are not “entitlements”) buy into the outrage and insist their taxes shouldn’t pay lazy, drug-taking bums on the dole (their taxes don’t pay those on the dole, but it is a simple concept that tradies can buy into).

    President Morrison was more than happy to let people in financial difficulty rip $42 billion out of system he despises – in his world, people should fend for themselves, but equally, he doesn’t want people who are his “hard working Australians” thinking too hard about their lives, so he wants a dumbed down Australia who don’t really even understand what democracy is and don’t see how President Morrison has gathered unlimited power to himself and at the same time, restricted opportunities for the Parliament to scrutinise his actions – and his flaws. He is a charlatan, manipulator, liar, back-stabber and fraudster, but he is dangerously well suited to the role he has carved out for himself. Moreover, Covid-19 has given him a smokescreen to execute his plan for a dumb, uncritical Australia. His attacks on universities (except Bond and theological institutions) and the ABC are part of his plan to silence latte-sipping, leftie urban elites, because in those groups are his critics and those who see him for what he really is and know how dangerous he is. Is he repugnant? You betcha. Is he getting away with his plan to return Australia to the Menzies and Howard eras? You bet he is – with an uncritical, fawning press, what he is doing is being done by stealth and no-one is really watching.

  4. Horatio

    Seems any adviser who understood the financial services “industry” would not touch AMP with a bargepole. I feel for clients who have lost out but have to ask them if they’re not paying for their advisers time then who do they think is? As for advice which is in clients best interest why didn’t they ask the question ‘why do all the best investments happen to be either labelled AMP or owned by AMP?’ The whole industry is based on the old insurance commission model.

  5. totaram

    I believe the Rudd/Gillard government introduced legislation to ensure that the Financial Adviser works in the best interests of the client.
    One of the fist things the Abbott government did was to repeal that legislation. Can anything be more blatantly against ordinary people? Yet they were voted in time and again.

  6. Andreas

    So who are the “Dumbies” now?

  7. Phil Pryor

    Somehow, the conseratives control enough money, media, mining, manufacturing, even military connections, to flood the little brainwaves of the ordinary folk, already furrily thucked by years of drenching and leaching by T V, advertising, Hollywoodery, all brain stuffing lies, so that they scheme to control and manipulate in their own narrow interests, all of it supported and even supercharged by stupid, idiotic religious superstitious, dark ages garbage. Fear, stupidity, neurotic surges, fantasy, passion, paranoia, empty vanity and much worse make most people most of the time intellectual serfs, slaves, suckers, shiteaters. If you want to be a safe, steady, invulnerable thief, liar, taker, bludger, exploiter, become a conservative or reactionary in politics, military, police, corporate management, financial ruthlessness. They are the enemies of civilisation and decent community, a threat to society and the reason we decline steadily. The Attila and William the Conqueror types thieved, occupied, dominated, murdered, imprisoned, silenced, coerced, controlled, all selfishly in righteous appropriation of everything possible, and some still follow the current dregs and bumdrips of this in royalty, nobility, seniority, executive imperiousness, submissive resignation. Fight back and aim to get a fair go, a decent society, honesty…democracy remains a good idea, but only if it actually exists and we all get a fair share in our roles.

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