A former ASIC investigator turned business consultant has given insight into how advisers can protect themselves from an ASIC or FOS complaint.
Addressing the AIOFP national conference in Sydney last week, Stephan Kasanczuk, director of Wolfthink Consultancy and a former ASIC staffer, suggested advisers need to choose their clients wisely.
“You only need to choose one wrong client to ruin your practice and make your life a misery,” he warned.
As part of this approach, he encouraged advisers to refuse clients whose needs fell outside of the adviser’s skill levels.
“Always advise within your experience and skills. That’s going to become very important,” he said.
With the full reinstatement of the best interests duty, his key suggestion for advisers was “document, document, document”.
“You need to document every single contact you have,” he said.
“Every phone call. Even if it’s a recorded message, make sure you record it.”
Under the new regime, the management of conflicts of interests also needs to be recorded well, he warned.
“Even if you are doing the right thing, you can still get caught out,” he said.
He encouraged advisers to be vigilant of small details that could support a client's complaint.
In his experience, FOS once rejected a claim by an adviser because the client’s signature was in a different handwriting to the date on the document.
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