Avanteos Investments, once owned by Commonwealth Bank, fined for charging dead people service fees


Investment company previously owned by Commonwealth Bank fined for charging DEAD people service fees of almost $700,000 over two years

  • Avanteos Investments was fined $1.7million for charging deceased members
  • It did not inform customers they would continue to be charged after their death 
  • The company collected almost $700,000 in continued fees over 28 months 
  • Avanteos has repaid the deducted fees and the lost earnings on invested funds

A superannuation company previously majority owned by Commonwealth Bank was fined $1.7million for deducting service fees from dead members’ accounts.

Avanteos Investments, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank until its sale to a US private equity group last year, pleaded guilty to deducting advisory service fees totaling almost $700,000 from 499 deceased members’ superannuation funds between January 2016 and May 2018.

The offences had come to light during the banking and finance Royal Commission conducted between 2017 and 2019. 

Melbourne County Court heard the members had not been informed in disclosure statement by Avanteos that they would continue to be charged advisory fees after their death.

Avanteos Investments, which was majority owned by Commonwealth Bank (above) until last year, was fined $1.7million on Wednesday for collecting almost $700,000 worth of advisory fees from deceased members between January 2016 and May 2018

Avanteos Investments, which was majority owned by Commonwealth Bank (above) until last year, was fined $1.7million on Wednesday for collecting almost $700,000 worth of advisory fees from deceased members between January 2016 and May 2018

Senior management at the super investment company were advised in early 2016 the continued charges were illegal but Avanteos Investments’s documentation was not updated until 28 months later.

During that time the company had collected almost $700,000 worth of service fees from 499 deceased members who had not been informed they would be charged after their death.

At that time the company would continue to charge advisory fees until the superannuation account was closed or until it was advised to cease payment. 

The court found Avanteos had not informed its members they would continue to pay fees to the company after their death

The court found Avanteos had not informed its members they would continue to pay fees to the company after their death

Avanteos Investments pleaded guilty to 18 criminal charges relating to the continued fees in December 2021 and was fined $1.7 million on Wednesday.

The company has repaid the deducted fees and the lost earnings on the funds invested.

County Court Judge Trevor Wraight said the company had not been seeking to profit from the deceased members.

‘It’s a case where (the) company, knowing of a defect, focused on itself and its own business model rather than its obligations to its members, whose funds they were entrusted with,’ he said.

Avanteos Investments will also pay financial regulator ASIC $1.3 million to cover the cost of investigations. 

Avanteos Investments told Daily Mail Australia it ‘unreservedly apologises to those affected by this issue’.

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