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CWG: Code change not major overhaul

The Code Working Group is rejecting suggestions a change to the Financial Services Legislation Bill (FSLAB) will send it back to the drawing board.

Friday, August 3rd 2018, 6:00AM 1 Comment

The select committee considering the bill recommended that FSLAB be amended so that instead of requiring the code provide minimum standards that must be demonstrated when financial advice is given, the code should apply to people who give regulated financial advice.

SiFA spokesman Murray Weatherston said that was an argument his organisation had made in its submission on the bill, arguing that the code should apply to anyone giving financial advice.

It had said: “The Code Working Group has made great play on the fact that this drafting changes the focus from individuals/persons (occupational code) to a financial advice service. In their public statements and private discussions, they seem to be suggesting that therefore there are a vast number of possible situational combinations that the Code will need to cover. We fear that the Code will take on a physical size of an old telephone book.”

Industry commentator David Whyte, who is chairman of the Lifetime Group, said it appeared the working group would have to retrace its steps. “It is now clear that the code is not destined to be a service code, one of the earlier underlying assumptions adopted by the group.”

But Code Working Group chairman Angus Dale-Jones said it was not simply a case of the code becoming occupational.

“What’s important is that ‘person’ includes individuals (financial advisers and nominated representatives) and entities (financial advice provider) so we are proceeding on the basis that the code applies to them all. So it is broader than an occupational code.”

Dale-Jones said it was likely that the group would be able to provide a code to the Commerce Minister for approval by early in the new year, if not before Christmas.

Tags: Code Working Group FSLAB

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Comments from our readers

On 3 August 2018 at 6:21 pm Murray Weatherston said:
1. Angus should acknowledge the totality of SIFA's submission before simply discarding it. We said the change that Select Committee has now made (to Schedule 2 of FSLAB - introducing clause 32 of 5th Schedule of FMCA) would allow there to be effectively 2 Codes within the Code - one that applied to humans (financial advisers and nominated reps) and would clearly be an occupational code; The other that applied to situations where the entity itself gave the advice (e.g. robo-sales) would have to be different in at least some respects - e.g. it would be very difficult to have a measurable standard for entity competence like Level 5 - who would sit the exam on behalf of the entity?

2. Won't this further delay in the timing of the approval of the Code push out transition day - I thought T-day was going to be 9 months after the Code was approved. Was that ever right; and if so, when was the time-gap reduced?

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