Reference checking vital when hiring advisers

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has called on all financial planning licensees/employers to adhere to the association’s reference checking requirements in the code when employing someone claiming to be a member or former member of the FPA.

In acknowledging the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) findings into how Australia’s largest financial advice firms dealt with poor advice and non-compliant advisers from 2009 to 2013, FPA chief executive, Dante De Gori said complying with the code of professional practice is a way to ensure advisers were complying with the law.

“The finding that there are inadequate background and reference-checking processes in place is disappointing, but not surprising,” De Gori said.

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“Consumers need to trust that they only consult with professional financial planners, and poor reference checking is a significant concern.”

De Gori said licensees must follow code requirements, including the reference checking consent form, when employing someone claiming to be a current or former FPA member.

The process would involve checking the person was a member of the FPA and ensuring all information regarding any current complaints or past disciplinary proceedings were provided.

“The FPA knows from experience that many licensees/employers do not have a process for checking with the FPA for names of financial planners that have had disciplinary actions against them, so we strongly advocate the use of the facility,” De Gori said.




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