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Independence ruling unenforced

The financial services industry needs to be "re-educated" about the meaning of independence, says the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board.

Thursday, December 18th 1997, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The widespread use and abuse of the word independence in advertising by the financial services industry has forced a back down from the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board.
It has decided that while Money Managers is, in its opinion, not independent, that the firm can continue advertising itself as such.
In a recently released decision the appeal board has agreed with an earlier ruling from the Advertising Standards Complaints Board that because Money Managers accepts commission from New Zealand Funds Management for selling the FIRST master trust it is not independent.

However, the appeal board says "the receipt of commission or fees from the sale and servicing of financial products was a widespread and recognised practice within the financial services industry, it was unfair to the advertiser to request it to cease the claim of independence while competitors continued its use."
In its decision, "the appeal board agreed with the complaints board that any financial adviser who received remuneration from issuers of financial products in relation to the sale and servicing of those products could not claim to be independent."
It has called on the Advertising Standards Authority to "re-educate the industry in the use of the word independent".
The appeal board also says Money Managers and other advertisers should be given time to make the changes.
Good Returns understands since the earlier decision was released the complaints board has received a number of complaints against other advisers and a research house.
Independence complaints flow

Appeal lodged

Original independence ruling
« Todd group releases final reportGet your tax questions answered online »

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