Big banks to help advisers understand clients

An ethics literacy program which aims to change the way financial advisers make decisions has garnered support from industry giants.

AMP, Macquarie Bank, ANZ, CBA and BT Financial Group are among those to have funded the initiative.

The program was developed by The Ethics Centre to "enable participants to see situations more clearly, adopt different decision-making approaches and better understand clients, customers and colleagues' perspectives to achieve mutual outcomes", a statement from the organisation said.

The Ethics Literacy program – which from August will be rolled out to individuals responsible for financial advice – will include a combination of workshops, coaching and online learning and discussion to inspire ethical decision-making, the statement said.

AMP group executive of advice and banking Rob Caprioli said, "AMP, along with many other organisations across the industry, recognises what a critical time this is for the industry and how important it is to increase trust among consumers in financial advice.

"By helping to raise the education, ethical and professional standards across the industry, the Ethical Literacy program is an important step in ensuring ongoing high standards of professionalism across the industry."

The Ethics Centre's principal consultant, John Neil, noted, "The Ethics Centre is working with financial institutions, professional associations and regulators to develop the program as a common source of ethics education for the Australian financial advice industry as a whole.

"Through support from industry and Australia's major financial institutions, coupled with the experience and reputation of The Ethics Centre, we have no doubt that the program will encourage a strong ethical foundation and positive cultural change for the financial advice industry," he said.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Association of Financial Advisers, Financial Planning Association, SMSF Association, Financial Services Council and the Australian Bankers' Association are overseeing the program's development.

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