FPA’s CRC sanctions two planners, including chapter chair

At the same time as the Financial Planning Association (FPA) puts in place the necessary infrastructure to become part of a code monitoring body, its Conduct Review Commission (CRC) has imposed immediate sanctions against two member financial planners, one of whom was a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and FPA Gold Coast chapter chair.

At least some of the issues which gave rise to the CRC action related to the FPA’s arrangement with building industry fund Cbus.

The FPA said that its independent disciplinary body had determined that FPA member planners, Matthew Brown and Dianne Bainbridge had breached the FPA’s Code of Professional Practice and because neither than opted to appeal the CRC’s decision there sanctions would apply immediately.

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It said that, effective immediately, Brown’s FPA membership and CFP designation had been suspended for two years including rights and privileges while, separately, Bainbridge had her FPA membership and Financial Planner AFP designation suspended for six months.

The FPA said Brown’s details had been removed from the FGPA Find a Planner director and that he had been stood down as the Chapter Chair of the Gold Coast Chapter Committee.

It said that following a review of advice provided as part of the Cbus FPA Professional Practice Referral Program, the FPA initiated a complaint and investigation relating to the advice and conduct of Brown in August 2017. In October 2018, the CRC panel determined he breached the FPA Code in seven of the 14 instances of alleged breaches.

The FPA said the CRC had asked Brown to submit details of the steps he would take to improve advice practices and systems. If the reported improvements were not satisfactory, Brown is to undertake further training and education. He had already refunded the affected clients in a matter approved by the FPA when he first became aware of the concerns raised.

Bainbridge has had her FPA membership and Financial Planner AFP® designation suspended for six months by the CRC, including rights and privileges, following a complaint raised by a former client in November 2017. Bainbridge’s details have also been removed from the FPA Find a Planner directory.

The FPA investigated the alleged conduct and the matter was referred to the Chair of the CRC in July 2018. In November 2018, the CRC panel determined that Bainbridge had breached the FPA Code, with sanctions being handed down in December 2018. She will undertake additional training and education in management and risk management.   During the suspension period the FPA will undertake a compliance review of Ms Bainbridge’s client documentation. Bainbridge has already paid the FPA costs and expenses related to the matter.    


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There was heavy comment on the CBUS program when the FPA initiated this on this forum. The process was, an adviser had to put CBUS on their APL before you could recieve a referral. Conflict?? Hello?? If you have to put a product on your APL or you won't get a referral, that is a clear conflict. Why not give all FPA members referrals. We had then FPA board members shouting people down as being jealous etc. And now a member it seems has stepped on some CBUS toes.

Not merely a member or region chapter chair, but also a former board member of the FPA and Future2.

oh and Adviser Ratings have them as top star advisers! Enough said.

I always knew this cbus referral programme would blow up, god forbid the planners actually put the clients interest first and told them to get out of cbus as there was a better alternative out there...The FPA says scope out the super fund itself but you can advise on anything else...really????? Imagine a meeting with a Cbus client, oh I want to open up a SMSF for myself, oh no sir cant do that as it will wreck the little relationship the FPA and Cbus has, but if you went to Mr Jones from xyz planning they arent in the FPA so they would do it for you...get the picture? Its the same for all fund advisers, they cant recommend the clients roll out to a better how is this in the clients best CANT be.

These advisers were booted from FPA for putting their client's best interetst first and recommending a super fund with decent returns and insurances over CBUS garbage?

FPA are the worst organisation anyway, almost on par with the FSC who only care about lining their own pockets and will put their members and the general public to the sword if they can make a buck. The FPA and FSC board members would sell their mother to a sex trafficker if they got a good price.

Please explain how anyone can satisfy the Best Interests Duty by recommening anything offered by CBUS. Even if the customer says "i want an Industry Fund" there are many better performing industry funds than cbus.

The FPA did these guys a favor

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