SIAA name change to highlight breadth of profession

The name change decision by the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA) was about highlighting the role of investment advisers rather than a decision to distance itself from the advisory community.

Last week, the organisation announced it would rebrand as the Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association (SIAA).

This came as the organisation had made numerous comments in the past that it should not be classed in the same category as financial advisers giving personal advice.

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In September, it said the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime had led to a one-size-fits-all approach to financial advice which disenfranchised retail investors and was deterring graduates from entering the stockbroking and investment advice profession.

It also felt that Standard 6 of the Code of Ethics was “highly problematic” for its members as it had a financial planning lens on everything and considered the long-term circumstances of the client.

Speaking to Money Management, chief executive, Judith Fox, said the move was not one to “distance” itself from financial adviser but rather a way to highlight the role of investment advisers.

“It’s not so much distance ourselves, we’ve got a role to play in helping educate everyone about the financial advice ecosystem and that there are different professions within that. Stockbroking and investment advice is different to financial planning.

“There are times when obligations are relevant to some and not to others, we’ve seen what happens with the one-size-fits-all approach under FASEA and it just did not work. It’s not just us, there’s risk advisers and accountants who are also providing advice and we all have different roles.”

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Fair enough for stockbrokers to have concerns about Standard 6.

But please don't try the lame excuse used by insurance advisers that the FASEA exam is not relevant to their specialty. The exam is about law, ethics, and consumer behaviour. Anyone in financial services who says that's not relevant to them is really shooting themselves in the foot.

I agree. While the reason is not to "distance" the stockbroking profession from financial planning, it is obvious there are different parameters.

If a stockbroker notices there is a need for a client to obtain strategy advice (financial planning) he should let the client know and even refer him or her to a financial planner for that advice. This is completely intended within the FASEA guidelines and make them absolutely relevant to stockbrokers. Same with Insurance advice...

Any additional benefits the client can obtain from strategic advice will improve his or her situation, ultimately increasing wealth and enabling more funds to be available for investment, so a win for the stockbroker also.

Of course, it could work the other way too...

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