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Code Working Group set the scene

15 Aug 2017

The Code Working Group (CWG) has been established to produce a draft code of professional conduct for financial advice services, periodically review it and recommend changes as appropriate.

Last week the CWG met for the first time. Following that meeting they published a paper which has been prepared by the chair as a preliminary “scene setter” for the inaugural meeting to inform a discussion about how the CWG should operate. The concepts in the paper are expected to evolve over time as the legislative and consultation processes progress. 

The paper sets out a scope for the code which it says has widened from an occupational for AFAs to a service code caturing advice given by all advisers, corporates and digital services. They say the focus will move to customer outcomes.

Other key principles the CWG wishes to encourage include - Transparency, Professionalism, Creativity and Pragmatism.

A key issue for advisers will be the competency standards for the various adviser groups within financial services. They will review whether the current code standard of Level 5 Financial Services Certificate remains relevant.  The CWG will re-assess how that qualification standard should be applied.  "Is any baseline universal general competence required? (eg Unit 26360 covering knowledge of the code and consumer protection laws)

Transitional arrangements will also be considered along with how continuing professional training can be used to broaden skills.  

Two formal consultation periods are likely:

  • consultation on concepts - Oct/Nov 2017
  • consultation on a preliminary draft code - Mar/Apr 2018

In the meantime the CWG anticipates engaging with the financial services sector through the various associations as well as with consumer groups.

A copy of their paper is available HERE

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