Advisers Must Belong to Professional Body

All financial advisers will be required to be members of a code monitoring body and subject to an industry wide Code of Ethics by the start of 2020, under new guidelines released by ASIC.

The corporate regulator stated the guidelines are tied to development of the Code of Ethics by FASEA, and may change once that has been released, but at present under professional standards reforms advisers will be obligated to be members of a scheme under which their compliance with the code of ethics will be monitored and enforced.

In its guidance on the scheme and Codes of Ethics – RG 269, ASIC stated that schemes can be, but are not limited to, professional associations, but in the financial advice arena the FPA and AFA have indicated they would seek to become a code monitoring body.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell the presence of compliance scheme was a key component of the professional standards reforms that will drive higher standards of ethical behaviour and professionalism among advisers.

“Our guidance requires high standards for compliance schemes, reflecting the significant responsibility that monitoring bodies operating compliance schemes will have. This includes the responsibility to effectively monitor and sanction adviser members if required,”  he said.