With the Code of Ethics kicking in for all financial advisers on 1 January 2020, FASEA has taken the opportunity to explain its practical effects in greater detail.
As outlined in February, the Code of Ethics comprises five values: trustworthiness, competence, honesty, fairness and diligence. There are also 12 standards, which are outlined in the legislative instrument available here.
Explaining that the Code has been designed to “encourage and embed higher standards of behaviour and professionalism in the financial advice industry,” FASEA said the “reward” for its implementation will be an “increase in public trust and confidence in this evolving profession.”
As part of an effort to increase awareness and understanding of said Code – which will also involve a “series of consultation briefing sessions with a number of educational, professional, consumer and industry stakeholders” – FASEA has released a Code of Ethics guide for the advice community.
The guide contains multiple case studies explaining how standards can be upheld and breached depending on advisers’ decisions.
It’s worth noting, though, that said case studies are “not intended to provide definitive guidance.”
“As noted previously,” the guide explains, “individual circumstances will differ in practice and, as with every profession, there is allowance for differences of professional opinion on how the ethical rules of the profession should apply in a particular case.
“Doing what is right will depend on the particular circumstances and requires you to exercise your professional judgement in the best interests of each of your clients.”
The guide is available for you to read in full here.
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