A former board member of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), Countplus chief executive, Matthew Rowe has expressed deep concern about the workability of the authority’s code of ethics unless the controversial Standard 3 is revised.
Speaking during a roundtable in Sydney, Rowe agreed with specialist financial services lawyer, Hillary Ray that Standard 3 dealing with conflicts of interest would either deliberately or inadvertently change the commercial underpinnings of many financial planning businesses.
He said that while he had supported the original Standard 3 which had been taken to the industry for consultation, he did not support the current Standard 3 which he believed would have significant negative consequences for the industry.
Ray had earlier told the roundtable that she believed the nature of Standard 3 meant that the FASEA code of ethics had gone beyond what codes of ethics were generally intended to achieve and that there was now “real potential for financial harm”.
“We are stuck with a fairly draconian approach to conflicts of interest,” she said.
Notwithstanding suggestions during the roundtable that overtures to Canberra about the code of ethics had elicited little sympathy, Rowe said he believed there needed to be further consultation and he would be happiest with a reversion to the original Standard 3.