70% of advisers suspicious of code

Fewer than 30% of advisers who responded to a Money Management survey believe they can adhere to the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) code of ethics as it currently stands.

The survey, completed by more than 150 respondents, revealed that only 26.24% believed that they both understood and could adhere to the code of ethics, with many suggesting that in its current form it placed them at considerable risk.

Asked to explain their negativity about the code, many respondents expressed the view that it had be weighted against their interests.

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Typical of the responses was one which stated: “Nobody can adhere to the code. It is deliberately and malevolently designed to be impossible to comply with so that no adviser will stand any chance in the face of any complaint”.

The same respondent said: “You will always at least fail standard 3 because you will always have greater than 0% conflict and the standard is all encompassing. Advisers will be nothing but fodder for consumers, regulators and lawyers”.

Another stated: “Too much ambiguity around the standards. Too much room for FASEA, ASIC and others to apply their own judgement”.

A further respondent wrote: “The code bans 80% of my income and I have haven't been given enough notice to change my business model. What is FASEA thinking?”

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