NAB has today announced Clare Petre as the new Independent Customer Advocate for customers of NAB wealth’s products, services and advice.
The Customer Advocate role was established in May 2015 as part of NAB’s Customer Response Initiative (CRI) as the bank committed to protect customer interests and increase transparency and accountability in financial advice, with a specific focus on NAB’s advice remediation and its advice disputes systems and processes.
In her role, Ms Petre will extend this focus to customer complaints systems and processes across NAB’s wealth business and provide an independent voice in the interests for NAB’s customers.
Ms Petre follows NAB’s first wealth Customer Advocate, Professor Dimity Kingsford-Smith, who has returned to her full time professional role as Professor of Law at the University of NSW having completed her tenure with NAB.
NAB Chief Customer Officer, Consumer Banking & Wealth, Andrew Hagger, said the Customer Advocate role has proven invaluable to the management and resolution of complaints in NAB’s financial advice complaints process.
“Since the appointment of Professor Kingsford-Smith, we have continued to strengthen our complaints and review process so that we can get it right for our customers. Professor Kingsford-Smith challenged NAB in a meaningful and tangible way, and her contribution has been significant.”
“Ms Petre is continuing the work of her predecessor and challenging us to think differently about how we can achieve the best outcomes for our customers, including supportive and fair complaints processes, with a particular focus on supporting customers who may be vulnerable such as the elderly in the complaints process. This continues to be a very important step for NAB to become more open, transparent and responsive in the way we interact with our customers,” said Mr Hagger.
“NAB’s appointment of a Customer Advocate is an ongoing commitment to an independent voice for customers in the resolution of complaints, and as importantly, in review of systems and processes in a more customer centric manner,” said Ms Petre.
In addition to reviewing NAB wealth’s complaints processes, the Customer Advocate will continue to focus on the progress and contribute to the advice remediation work as part of NAB’s Customer Response Initiative, which commenced in February 2015.
The Customer Response Initiative was designed with customer outcomes in mind – to identify and compensate customers for non-compliant advice by financial advisers for the period 1 Jan 2009 and 30 June 2015. Since its inception, CRI has worked to undertake reviews thoroughly for customers, and where customers have suffered loss due to inappropriate advice we have compensated them for that loss.
Once customers have received the outcomes of their case as reviewed by the CRI, NAB encourages customers to seek independent professional advice from an independent source of their choosing in the event they need help understanding the outcomes. This includes the reimbursement of up to $5,000 (plus GST) for the cost of a review of NAB’s assessment.
As at 25 May, 2018 NAB has paid over $16 million to customers through this program across 1852 cases.
“Our focus remains on lifting standards, finding and fixing issues, and improving performance within the business to ensure we deliver for customers,” said Mr Hagger.
About Clare Petre
Clare has had an extensive career in community, government, and media sectors. She is the current Chair of the Code of Conduct Committee for the Australian Council for International Development, Deputy Chair of the Asylum Seekers Centre, a Board member of City West Housing and Energy Consumers Australia, and a Commissioner for the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission.
More recently she was Chair of the consumer advisory panels for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Credit & Investments Ombudsman (CIO).
Clare has served on a range of NSW and Commonwealth government advisory bodies as well as the boards of community groups, including ACOSS and Performance Space.