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UPDATE 1-ASIC alleges firms related to AMP charged fees from deceased customers

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May 27 (Reuters) - Australia’s securities watchdog said on Thursday it had started civil proceedings against five companies related to wealth manager AMP Ltd for allegedly charging life insurance premiums and advice fees to customers after their deaths.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) alleged that the five firms charged fees from over 2,000 customers between May 2015 and August 2019 despite being notified of their death. (bit.ly/3bWpObY)

AMP acknowledged the proceedings in a statement and said it had taken action to address the issues. The matter had already been covered under a financial services Royal Commission, according to the company.

A Royal Commission inquiry in 2018 found that the wealth manager engaged in "unconscionable" conduct and Australia's biggest banks broke laws when providing financial advice. (reut.rs/3fr5Vwa)

The ASIC on Thursday alleged that the AMP companies received over $500,000 in insurance premiums from accounts of deceased customers, and over $100,000 in advice fees from deceased customer accounts.

One of the five companies being sued, AMP Life Ltd, is now owned by insurance company Resolution Life NZ, but was part of the AMP group when the alleged conduct happened. (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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