FPA receives ASIC Professional Code approval
The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) announced today that ASIC has approved the FPA Professional Ongoing Fees Code, providing FPA members with an alternative to the opt-in laws when engaging clients in an Ongoing Fee Arrangement.
The Code will be available from 1 July 2017 to FPA practitioner members (CFP® professionals and Financial Planner AFP® categories).
The Code (which members must subscribe to) will provide more practical and flexible options for client opt-in, place FPA members on a professional footing with their clients, while maintaining appropriate levels of protection for clients.
Under the FPA Professional Ongoing Fees Code, FPA members will have the opportunity to implement an ongoing fee arrangement that is more practical and appropriate for their clients and their business, whilst maintaining the highest level of consumer protection.
Commenting on the first-ever Code approved by ASIC, Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO of the FPA, said the approval is acknowledgment from the regulator on the rigour and robust nature of FPA’s application, and is also evidence that Professional Codes can be approved.
“Industry and professional codes have an important role to play in lifting the standards of conduct in the financial services sector. To gain ASIC approval, codes must adopt higher standards than required by law, or in the case of an opt-in code replace the need for compliance with a legal requirement, and represent a benefit to consumers.”
Importantly, any organisation proposing a code must also have the means and resources to hold code subscribers accountable. The FPA has developed appropriate monitoring arrangements, which will be overseen by an Independent Code Administrator,” said Mr De Gori.
“Many consumers are already quite familiar with how to engage with other professional services firms like lawyers and accountants. The FPA supports professional services engagements that are fair for consumers and fair for members. The approval of this Code will provide members with the opportunity to choose the best solution that suits their clients.”
“The Professional Ongoing Fees Code will enable FPA member businesses to apply the ‘fair engagement’ principle to ongoing fee arrangements with their clients. The Code supports ongoing fee arrangements which are simple, transparent and fair – that’s good for consumers and good for business.”