Commonwealth Bank welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government on the establishment of the independent professional standards body for the financial advice industry.
We fully support the creation of a new professional standards framework that sets minimum qualifications for new and existing advisers, supervision requirements for new advisers, develops an industry exam and establishes a model code of ethics. We are committed to lifting the trust and confidence that consumers have in the sector and the establishment of the standard setting body is an important step in ensuring the financial advice industry is recognised as a trusted profession.
In 2014, we raised education standards across CBA’s advice businesses for our advisers and led the industry in extending this to all licensee staff in supervision and monitoring roles. We also mandated membership of a relevant financial services industry association a minimum standard for all advisers and relevant licensee staff.
We also support the introduction of the Reference Checking & Information Sharing Protocol announced by the ABA last month, to be implemented by March 2017. This will enhance information sharing between subscribing licensees and make it easier to identify an adviser’s past performance when making hiring decisions, especially where they have been removed for poor conduct.
We also supported the introduction of the adviser register by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in 2015. This was an important step in giving greater transparency to consumers and employers of a financial adviser’s authorisations and suitability to provide advice.