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Codes of Conduct – Licensees or Associations?

If you were to operate under a code of conduct, whose code would you prefer?

  • An adviser association's code (55%)
  • My dealer group's code (if offered) (39%)
  • Other (5%)
  • Not sure (2%)

Our latest poll has been motivated by the recent release by ASIC of guidance notes on how it will approach the approval of codes of conduct under the Future of Financial Advice reforms:

If you were to operate under a code of conduct, whose code would you prefer?

… a number of advisers have advanced the proposition that they would prefer to operate under their own licensee’s code of conduct

We already established in our last poll that the majority of advisers (69%) are now more likely to join an adviser association (or retain their membership) in order to operate under that association’s complying code of conduct. But while there has been much discussion regarding the development of complying codes by adviser associations (particularly the AFA and the FPA), a number of advisers have advanced the proposition that they would prefer to operate under their own licensee’s code of conduct, if this was offered to them.

One of the adviser comments we received in relation to our previous poll stated:

“I am already audited once a year by my licensee. If we have a code of conduct and the employer is a member then why couldn’t the employer do the audit for code of compliance at the same time? Extra cost would be close to zero.”

We promised we would return to this question and now offer you the opportunity to have your say. We have already asked advisers who attended the 2012 AFA National Conference last week. 75% favoured a licensee code of conduct, while 25% said they would prefer to operate under an adviser association’s complying code.

Which would you prefer? Why? Tell us what you think…

4 Responses to Codes of Conduct – Licensees or Associations?

  1. John C November 7, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Advisers Association Code of conduct is my preferred method of operation, license code of conduct can at times be clouded by commercial considerations.

  2. Paul Herring November 7, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    I agree with John C’s comment above. Additionally, dealer groups codes may vary considerably – some being overly restrictive, while others may be too liberal.
    If there is one subscribed-to standard everyone knows the boundaries. Hopefully then, all advisers will operate within those.

  3. David November 7, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I am in agreeance with the comments made by John and Paul. In my opinion, a licensee code of conduct would be made to suit that particular licensee and could be flawed. Already we see multi-page SOA’s because the licensees think more info will somewhere, be compliant.

    Whereas an Association Code of Conduct is made to suit the wider community of advisers, not just one group.

  4. Ben November 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I believe we should all be members of an association and that the associations should develop codes of conduct. The Licencee could perform an audit that meets the associations code of conduct requirements’

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