New Layers of Scrutiny Are Coming

It’s not surprising that most financial planners are feeling the weight of the Royal Commissions with an increase in stress levels for not only the financial planner, but also their employees and their support network. And while there will be a sense of uncertainty floating through the industry for a while, there is another change just around the corner that will add further stress to financial planners. 

Highlighted in Money Management, financial planners will be required to subscribe to a new Code of Ethics from the 15th of November 2019, the monitoring body will enforce the Code of Ethics from 1st January 2020. 

For those of you who haven’t already begun making changes to your client service offering and operational standards to align with the Code of Ethics, now is the time. 

To refresh your memory, the Code of Ethics requires you to act in a way that demonstrates, realises and promotes the following values:

Trustworthiness:

– Requires you to act in good faith in your relationships with other people. 

– Requires you to promote trust in the profession of financial advice by consumers, enabling the community to feel confidence in accessing and utilising professional financial services. 

Competence:

– Requires you to have the knowledge, skills and      experience necessary to perform your professional obligations to each of your clients. 

– Requires you to assess each client with regards to their individual needs, priorities, circumstances and preferences, expressed or implicitly identified as the subject matter of the financial advisory engagement. 

Honesty

– Requires transparency, frankness and fairness to each of your clients, even where this may cause you personal detriment. 

Fairness:

– Requires you to properly investigate, evaluate and diagnose a client’s need for professional services, and to self-reflect on the limits of your professional competency.

Diligence:

– Requires you to manage your time and resources to deliver professional services in a timely, efficient and cost-effective way to each client. 

To ensure that you and your staff are acting in line with the Code of Ethics, set some time aside and assess if your business values, ethics and operational standards corresponds to the Code of Ethics. This way, when the Code of Ethics becomes enforceable, you can rest assured that you’re already providing the level of service that aligns with industry standards. 

Disclaimer: The values listed in this article is a high level overview of the Code of Ethics. All descriptions of the Code of Ethics have been taken from the Federal Register of Legislation website. Please visit their website for a detailed breakdown of the Code of Ethics.

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