The Australian Coat of Arms in metal hangs on the glass wall of a building that reflects another high-rise across the street.
iStock/John M. Chase

Australia’s big banks have now paid over A$3 billion in compensation for misconduct stemming from financial advice failures.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reported that, by the end of 2021, the country’s six big financial institutions have provided a combined A$3.15 billion (C$2.9 billion) in compensation to clients that suffered losses, paid fees for no service, or paid for non-compliant advice.

In the second half of 2021, the firms offered or paid almost A$1.3 billion in customer compensation as part of ongoing industry efforts to address failings uncovered in two major reviews by ASIC.

Among other things, the regulator’s reviews found that firms charged clients for ongoing advice they didn’t receive, and that firms failed to ensure that advice met conduct standards.

The regulator noted that a couple of the firms have now completed their remediation programs in response to its findings.

The rest of the firms are expected to finish paying out compensation by the end of 2022.