The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has launched a Consultation Paper on a new code of conduct – the AFA Principles of Practice (the AFA Principles of Practice).
AFA CEO Richard Klipin said the regulatory change agenda has resulted in an increase in the importance of codes of conduct and the AFA is committed to raising the bar.
“A robust and meaningful code of conduct is a core part of the move towards a higher level of professionalism,” he said. “We felt the tides of change last year and so began our work on the AFA Principles of Practice.”
The AFA is now calling for member feedback on the draft code.
“Key elements of the AFA Principles of Practice are being discussed at our National Roadshows this month and we will also be calling for member feedback over the coming weeks,” he said.
“We will further review our Code, and seek further member consultation, after ASIC has released its guidelines later this year.”
Journalists are invited to attend the AFA Road Show in Melbourne tomorrow Tuesday 24 July and in Sydney on Wednesday 25 July. Special guest speakers include Senator Mathias Cormann and ASIC Senior Manager, Nick Coates.
Mr Klipin said reviewing the Code offers an opportunity to think about how to improve consumer confidence in financial advice and rebuild a brand centered around trust.
“Our research shows us that consumers who receive financial advice highly value the advice they are given, are happier with their investments and have greater peace of mind than those who are trying to navigate the complex world of investment and insurance without the help of a financial adviser,” Mr Klipin said.
“We need to build on that so that more people understand the power financial advice has to transform their lives.
“Enhancing codes of conduct and encouraging higher levels of adviser education and qualifications will go a long way towards improving consumer understanding of the value of advice and inspiring greater trust in the profession as a whole.”
ASIC has indicated that regulatory guidance on Codes of Conduct will be finalized at the end of the year.
“We expect the whole process on code approval to take at least 12 months,” Mr Klipin said.
“However we want to start the dialogue with members now so that we are well positioned by the time it gets serious.”
Click here to view the AFA Principles of Practice. Submissions are requested by 31 August 2012 and should be submitted to email@example.com
24 July 2012