Client interests ‘a distant second’ for banks, FPA event hears

An FPA Roadshow delegate claiming to be a bank-aligned CFP has said that clients’ best interests are not first priority, prompting FPA chief executive Dante De Gori to urge members to report such behaviour.

During question time at the FPA Roadshow last Friday – which was conducted on-screen through a digital audience engagement tool – one anonymous attendee asked Mr De Gori if the FPA supports members who are aligned to the major banks.

“Is the FPA representing CFPs and other members with the major banks?” the question read. “As a CFP bank adviser, best interests come a distant second to group product sales.”

Mr De Gori responded by condemning any practice that undermines the client best interests duty and encouraged attendees to report such behaviour.

“It doesn't matter who I speak to – licensees, product providers, fund managers, insurance companies – what I represent is the ability for the individual practitioner to provide advice that's in the client's best interest," he said.

“It's about the way you treat the client and that for me is paramount and that's what you have to live by, and I'd encourage you that if that type of stuff is happening then report it. Tell us."

Mr De Gori said the reputation of each individual financial adviser hinges on how the advice industry is perceived as a whole by the wider community.

“At the end of the day, we're all here to provide quality financial advice to consumers and it shouldn't matter who you work for or who you are licensed through to do that,” he said.

“It’s about you being a practitioner who provides services that are in the best interest of the client. That is paramount.”

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