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Moody's: AMP's alleged governance failure is credit negative

AMP Life Ltd.'s alleged governance failure is credit negative for the financial service company, citing potential reputational damage and additional legal and compliance costs, Moody's Investors Service said May 14.

AMP Life's testimony at the Australia's Royal Commission revealed a number of governance issues, including its admission to lying to regulators to cover practices of charging customers for services that were not provided.

While AMP has strong capitalization and market position, Moody's said the company is also facing a tougher operating environment, where the profit outlook for traditional life insurance products remains uncertain owing to higher cost of claims and potential changes to the bundling of insurance products within superannuation which will remove insurance as a default setting.

The company's future in wealth protection business is also uncertain, as the ongoing review of its Australian and New Zealand businesses could lead to an eventual sale, Moody's said.