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Lives ruined on bad financial advice

Emma Babbage, Luke Warren and Hayley Cramp, who form the litigation team from Somerville Laundry Lomax Solicitors, are taking inquiries about proposed legal action against financial planners for poor investment advice.
Emma Babbage, Luke Warren and Hayley Cramp, who form the litigation team from Somerville Laundry Lomax Solicitors, are taking inquiries about proposed legal action against financial planners for poor investment advice. Doug Eaton

A LISMORE legal firm is taking inquiries from local investors who have had their lives ruined on the basis of poor financial advice.

Ben Robin and Luke Warren, of Somerville Laundry Lomax Solicitors, said a number of local investors have lost several hundred thousand dollars each, some losing their entire life savings.

Heavy losses by investors Australia-wide were revealed this week following a Senate enquiry into the Commonwealth Bank.

There is no suggestion that local investors were given the poor advice by local CBA financial advisers.

While still fielding enquiries from investors, Mr Robin said he had been approached by a number of local people who had lost between $1 million and $2 million after they followed the advice of financial planners.

"Most financial planners in the region are good and competent operators but there is a rogue element that ought to be brought to account," Mr Robin said.

The investment advice was provided in 2007 and 2008, just before the Global Financial Crisis hit and stock markets crashed.

"Stock market corrections should be on the radar of all financial planners," Mr Robin said.

"Just because the GFC occurred, doesn't mean that financial advisers can escape liability.

"If people who don't work anymore have invested heavily and their investment goes sour they are put in a very precarious position."

Mr Robin said there is generally a six-year limitation period from when the loss arises within which to commence court proceedings.

He encouraged anyone who had suffered investment losses to call 6621 2481.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev said poor advice provided by some of the bank's advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and he was truly sorry for that.

"We have already paid $52 million in compensation to more than 1100 customers of specific advisers who were identified as having provided poor advice," he said.

Mr Narev said at no cost to customers, an Open Advice Review program would provide an assessment of the advice received, access to an independent customer advocate and an independent review panel.

Topics:  advice finance



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