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FASEA begins ethics guide consultation

FASEA ethics

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has opened consultation for its draft code of ethics guide.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority’s (FASEA) will give the financial advice sector one month to comment on draft guidance to its mandatory code of ethics.

The authority announced its draft Financial Planners & Advisers Code of Ethics 2019 Guide would be open for consultation until 2 November.

The guide has been built on FASEA’s preliminary response to submissions released in December 2019 and “provides an explanation of the intent and application of the code’s values and standards”.

“It uses fundamental questions to help illustrate the code and highlights the requirement for advisers to exercise their professional judgment in the best interests of their client guided by the values and standards of the code,” FASEA stated.

FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield said: “FASEA understands that advisers and other stakeholders are seeking additional support in understanding the practical application of the code of ethics and welcomes stakeholder feedback on this draft guide.”

Glenfield previously noted advisers operating under a limited Australian financial services licence could still play role in the advisory landscape despite concerns the new code of conduct requirements were prohibitive for these types of licensees.

“There is, in our view, a role for limited advice or scaled advice or scoped advice. It’s how you give that advice and be satisfied, that in the terms of that arrangement, that what you’re giving is the best advice for the client, in the interest of the client,” he said during an SMSF Association webinar panel discussion in April.

In July, BT head of financial literacy and advocacy Bryan Ashenden said financial advisers should not regard the FASEA code of ethics as restricting their ability to act, but rather giving them a framework to question how they should act in situations where there may be a conflict of interest.

In December, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand financial advice leader Bronny Speed warned advisers against relying on the FASEA code of ethics guidance document as proof of compliance with the new professional standards requirements.

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