Advice associations welcome ASIC stance

Australia's peak financial planning bodies have welcomed ASIC's stance on the Financial Planners and Advisers code of ethics, however remain concerned about the workability of certain standards.

In separate statements, both the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) have welcomed ASIC's approach to licensee obligations for the code, which won't see the regulator monitor or enforce individual adviser compliance.

AFA chief executive Phil Kewin said the AFA and a number of associations had been working closely with government and ASIC on an ongoing basis, and were pleased to see ASIC announce a "sensible step towards achieving a workable outcome".

However, the AFA chief reiterated that the association was still concerned about the "practical workability" of Standards 3 and 7, though welcomed ASIC's stated facilitative approach to compliance with the standards until the new single disciplinary body was up and running.

"We will continue to advocate for changes to Standard 3 and further guidance across the board, in particular with respect to Standard 7 and scaled advice," Kewin said.

Kewin's FPA counterpart Dante De Gori agreed, but said ASIC's facilitative compliance approach didn't excuse planners from making reasonable efforts to comply with the standards.

As such, ASIC expects licensees ensure planners are aware of their need to comply with the code from January 1 2020, and to provide training and guidance to advisers on the types of conduct that is either consistent or inconsistent with the code.

"The FPA will continue to work with FASEA on amending the Code of Ethics and we will shortly develop further tools and resources to assist members in understanding and building compliance with the FASEA Code of Ethics," the FPA said.

Read more: ASICStandardAFAFPAFASEAPhil KewinAssociation of Financial AdvisersFinancial Planning Association of AustraliaFinancial adviceDante De Gori
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