Commission questions compulsory FPA membership

Commission questions compulsory FPA membership

Westpac's policy of mandatory FPA membership for aligned advisers has come under questioning from the royal commission.

Referencing misconduct by an individual Westpac adviser, counsel assisting the commission Rowena Orr asked the bank’s representative, general manager of BT Financial Advice Michael Wright, about Westpac-aligned advisers’ mandatory membership of the FPA.

Specifically, Ms Orr asked whether the advisers’ membership presented another avenue through which to address instances of poor conduct.

Mr Wright clarified that this was not the case, and that the bank does not report specific advisers’ misconduct to the association.

"Why would you require your advisers to be a member?” Ms Orr then pressed.

Mr Wright said the FPA membership policy was intended to help professionalise the advice industry.

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The adviser in question, Krish Mahadevan, also holds the FPA-run CFP designation.

When asked by ifa whether the FPA will investigate Mr Mahadevan’s conduct, or whether any action will be taken against him, the association said it would “not comment on an individual or matters currently under review by the royal commission”.

ifa’s rolling coverage of the commission’s public hearings on financial advice can be followed here: https://www.ifa.com.au/strategy/25404-royal-commission-financial-advice-hearings-live-blog

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