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Banks announce new hiring standards for financial advisers

20 September 2016

Sydney, 20 September 2016: To help banks employ only competent and ethical financial advisers, the banking industry has today announced a new, improved way of hiring financial advisers.

“Sometimes a financial adviser can be removed from one financial institution for poor conduct, only to turn up working and continuing their poor practices at another,” Australian Bankers’ Association Executive Director – Retail Policy Diane Tate said.

“To help avoid this, the banking industry has developed a protocol to make it easier to check how financial advisers have performed in previous jobs. 

“This will better identify financial advisers who have not met the industry’s minimum legal and ethical standards, and help employers make more informed recruitment decisions,” she said.

The protocol sets minimum standards for checking references and sharing information, through a series of standardised questions and record keeping practices. 

“This is an important step by the banking industry to improve the quality of advice, support the professionalisation of the financial advice industry and build trust and confidence in banks,” Ms Tate said.

“The subscribing licensees* to the protocol represent 38% of the entire financial advice market. The more widespread this is, the more effective it will be in making sure individuals with poor conduct records don’t move around the industry,” she said.

Banks and other financial advice providers can become a subscribing licensee by contacting the ABA.

Ms Tate said banks and regulators agreed on the need for financial institutions to do more to improve recruitment of financial advisers. 

The protocol was developed with input from regulators and other stakeholders. Subscribing licensees will need to make changes to their recruitment practices to comply with the protocol by 1 March 2017.

“The ABA is also progressing work on establishing an industry register of conduct breaches covering all bank employees, which was announced in April as part of new initiatives to address concerns with conduct and culture in banks,” Ms Tate said.

A copy of the protocol is available.

ENDS

Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677

*All finance advice banks are subscribing licensees. A full list of subscribing licensees is available on the ABA website, and currently includes AMP, ANZ Banking Group, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Group, National Australia Bank, Suncorp Group, and Westpac.

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