Code of ethics a ‘game changer’, says FPA

The FPA has flagged how it will align its code of ethics with FASEA’s code to be in place from 1 January 2020, calling it a “game changer” for the industry.

Earlier this week, FASEA released its code of ethics legislative instrument following an extensive consultation process.

Speaking at the FPA Congress in Sydney on Thursday, FPA head of policy and government relations Ben Marshan said he's received many enquiries around FASEA from advisers about the education standards, and a little bit about the exam, but "virtually none on the code of ethics".

"This is the game changer," Mr Marshan said. "If something goes wrong in your advice process, or something is not documented in your advice process, they can come to you and know where to find that.

"So you need to start to think about your advice process and how you're going to demonstrate to a code monitoring body that you comply with this code of ethics. 

"You have to be thinking about how you demonstrate that you comply with this code of ethics. You need to understand every word in it. You have to understand how code monitoring bodies are going to interpret it."

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Advisers will be expected to comply with FASEA's code of ethics from 1 January 2020.

Mr Marshan said the FPA is already starting to map FASEA's code to its own code of ethics and its code of professional practice.

He also noted to the largely adviser audience of the FPA guidance books it has provided to them over the years as another element that can help them with the transition to the FASEA code.

"We'll be providing you with further tools that map the FASEA code to our code, to the TPB code and to these guidance documents, so you can sit down and start to work through your advice process over the next 12 months so that you're ready to go with code monitoring as the year goes on," Mr Marshan said.

"If you've set up your financial planning practice and the way you provide advice to your clients to comply with the FPA code of professional practice, then you're in a pretty good position to know that you'll be OK with the code monitoring body."

Code of ethics a ‘game changer’, says FPA
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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