The former Westpac financial planner criticised at the financial services royal commission says he’s been made a scapegoat by the bank.
Andrew Smith was named at the commission last week when Westpac executive and BT Finance national head Michael Wright gave evidence.
Mr Wright told the inquiry he believed one of the reasons the planner gave inappropriate advice to numerous clients was to maintain his ‘level of remuneration’.
Mr Smith, who worked at Westpac and St George Bank from 2007 until his resignation in 2015, has told The Australian Financial Review ‘I have been made a scapegoat’.
‘I did not act dishonestly at any time and was under their instruction on how certain matters were to be done,’ he told the AFR in an article published on Monday.
The commission heard Mr Smith charged fees without providing a service and recommended hybrid securities to clients when the product was not appropriate for the customer.
Mr Smith blamed staff cuts at the bank for lower levels of client service.
‘Given I have practised successfully since leaving Westpac is a testament to the fact that with a proper working environment I am able to discharge my duty properly and diligently,’ he told the AFR.
Westpac will refund about $2.1 million to 91 customers of the adviser, the inquiry heard last week.