FASEA needs to implement the Code of Ethics

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) should have greater responsibility for implementing the Code of Ethics and enforcing its standards.

According to chief executive of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), Dante De Gori, who spoke today in Sydney during Money Management’s Future of Wealth Management conference, FASEA should also ensure the implementation of the Code of Ethics.

De Gori stressed that FASEA has set the standards but is not currently in a position of enforcing any of their standards.

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“FASEA have developed the Code of Ethics, but apart from developing it they have no responsibility or obligation in ensuring that anyone meets those standards,” he said.

He said that even as far as its education requirements were concerned, it was the licensee who was actually responsible for ensuring that a person would meet them.

He reminded that, according to the legislation, that financial planners and advisers must be subscribed to an authorised and approved code monitoring body, however, currently there are not any code monitoring bodies that exist.

At the same time, De Gori said that instead of having five or six different monitoring bodies the FPA was one of the associations which supported the idea of creating one body – Code Monitoring Australia.

“We are now in the hands of ASIC whether the Code Monitoring Australia would be approved or not and this announcement will be made sometime in October,” he said.

Chief executive of the Australia Financial Advisers, Philip Kewin, agreed: “If we have the same message but it comes from multiple parties it can actually have more strength than just one voice or one person saying the same thing.”

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Given Frydenberg's intention to roll out a new financial adviser disciplinary body next year, implementation of the FASEA Code Monitoring body should be shelved for the moment, and its functions integrated with the new disciplinary body. Advisers are already burdened with far too many overlapping and duplicated regulators, which is making it harder and harder for consumers to access affordable professional advice.

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