A spokesperson for AMP confirmed it had withdrawn its claim of legal and professional privilege over the documents. “AMP’s claim of privilege reflected, in part, its concern to protect the confidentiality of those employees who participated in the interviews voluntarily and on a confidential basis,” the spokesperson said.
AMP and Clayton Utz had been claiming legal and professional privilege over a series of documents requested by ASIC, including notes from interviews conducted by Clayton Utz with AMP staff over its conduct in the matter.
Raft of resignations
The Clayton Utz report would explore the historical nature of the issues the firm had with fees for no service, including the Buyer of Last Resort scheme that saw unaligned customers of advisers who had left the company charged fees despite not having an adviser.
The report would have extensive input from AMP’s management, who would request dozens of changes, including the removal of executives’ names before submitting the paper under the guise of an independent report.
The whitewash would go through 25 drafts and was the subject of more than 700 emails within AMP before it was finally presented to ASIC.
The true nature of the document was exposed during the Hayne royal commission hearings on financial advice and led to the resignations of AMP chief executive Craig Meller, chairman Catherine Brenner and general legal counsel Brian Salter.
AMP’s head of financial advice, Anthony “Jack” Regan, who represented the company at the hearings, would take several months leave before resigning.
AMP’s head of wealth, Paul Sainsbury, who appeared during the life insurance hearings, also later retired.