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Australia regulator sues AMP for charging pensioners 'fees for no service'

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The head office building of AMP Ltd, Australia's biggest retail wealth manager, is seen in central Sydney, Australia, October 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

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July 30 (Reuters) - Australia's securities regulator said on Friday it had filed a lawsuit against six companies related to wealth manager AMP Ltd (AMP.AX), accusing them of charging 'fees for no service' to customers on their corporate pension accounts.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) alleged that the companies charged advice fees from more than 1,500 customers despite being notified that they were no longer able to access the advice, and received over A$600,000 ($443,580).

The lawsuit follows a similar proceeding by the regulator in May against five companies related to AMP for allegedly charging life insurance premiums and advice fees from customers despite being aware of their deaths.

"ASIC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties and adverse publicity orders to be made by the federal court," the regulator said on Friday.

AMP acknowledged the latest proceedings and said it had self-reported the issue to the regulator in 2018, and remediated a total of A$900,000 to about 2,500 customers in November 2019.

The companies in the lawsuit include AMP Superannuation, AMP Life - now owned by Resolution Life NZ - and AMP Financial Planning Proprietary.

($1 = 1.3526 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel
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