The Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia has declared support for ASIC’s crackdown on use of the terms ‘non-aligned’ or ‘independently-owned’.
In a statement issued this morning, IFAAA president Daniel Brammall said ASIC’s stance is a “step in the right direction for the Australian public”.
“We are delighted that the ASIC has provided clarity on the use of the term ‘independently-owned’ as we have felt, for some time now, financial planners who aren’t independent but promote themselves in this way is potentially misleading,” Mr Brammall said.
The IFAAA has been lobbying ASIC for some time on the “misuse” of terms it deems synonymous with ‘independent’.
However, Mr Brammall also expressed disappointment with ASIC’s opinion that accepting asset-based fees does not prohibit an adviser from legally using the term ‘independent’.
Members of the IFAAA will still be required to forgo asset-based fees in order to comply with the association’s Gold Standard of Independence, the statement said.
“We can see why they would take that view, even though we don’t agree with it. At the end of the day, it’s an opinion, it’s not the law,” Mr Brammall said.
“Our view, which is also supported by legal advice, has always been that asset fees are incentives and incentives are a conflict of interest.”
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