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Professional Standards

The ABA supports strong professional standards in the banking industry to address and prevent failures of conduct and culture that have negatively impacted customers.

The ABA’s Conduct Background Check Protocol was established in June 2017 to assist subscribing ABA member banks when hiring to find out better information about a job applicant’s past employment history and conduct record. This is designed to create more consistency in hiring so individuals with poor conduct records can’t move from one job to the next in the banking industry undetected.

The objective is to raise standards so that those in the banking industry demonstrate a commitment to quality, ethical behaviour and serving the interests of customers.

These protocols are positive steps towards professionalising the industry, minimising poor conduct and improving trust and confidence in banking.

If your financial advice business would like to become a subscribing licensee and put in place the necessary policies, procedures and systems to support the operation of the Protocol, please contact the ABA.

Name Subscribing licensee
AMP AMP Financial Planning (AFSL 232706)
Charter Financial Planning (AFSL 234665)
Hillross Financial Services (AFSL 232705)
ipac (AFSL 234656)
SMSF Advice (AFSL 234664)
Australia and New Zealand Banking GroupANZ Financial Planning (AFSL 234527)
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Bendigo Financial Planning (AFSL 237898)
Commonwealth BankBW Financial Advice (AFSL 230727) 
Commonwealth Financial Planning (AFSL 231139) 
Commonwealth Private (AFSL 314018) 
Commonwealth Securities (AFSL 238814) 
Financial Wisdom (AFSL 231138)
Macquarie GroupMacquarie Equities (AFSL 237504)
National Australia BankApogee Financial Planning (AFSL230689) 
Garvan Financial Planning (AFSL230692) 
Godfrey Pembroke (AFSL 230690) 
JBWere (AFSL 341162) 
Meritum Financial Group (AFSL245569) 
MLC Financial Planning (AFSL230692) 
NAB Financial Planning (AFSL 230686) 
NAB Financial Planning Self Employed (AFSL 230686)
Suncorp GroupSuncorp Financial Services (AFSL 229885)
WestpacMagnitude Group (AFSL 221557) 
Securitor Financial Group (AFSL 240687) 
Westpac Banking Corporation (AFSL 233714) 
– St George Financial Planning 
– Westpac Financial Planning 
– Bank of SA 
– Bank of Melbourne

Regulators have expressed the need for Australian Financial Service licensees to do more to address concerns with poor advisers (‘bad apples’) moving around the industry. Banks have also expressed concerns about the potential for them to appoint poor advisers and the consequences for their clients and their businesses. In light of this, the Protocol has been created to improve reference checking during the recruitment of financial advisers. It is intended to promote better information sharing about the performance history of financial advisers focusing on compliance, risk management and advice quality. The Protocol is part of the banking industry’s commitment to professionalise financial advice, help minimise poor conduct and improve trust and confidence in financial advice. It was developed with the input and support of banks that provide financial advice and AMP Group. The following table sets out the subscribing licensees to the Protocol.

Reference Checking & Information Sharing Protocol

The Australian Banking Association has developed the Reference Checking & Information Sharing Protocol (the Protocol) to assist employers make informed recruitment decisions about financial advisers.