Posts tagged Couper
Is your Licensee your greatest risk?

Advisers join Licensees for a variety of reasons - price, convenience, shared values and history - but underlying all these is the presumption that the advantages of joining a Licensee outweigh the disadvantages. What if that presumption is wrong? What if your Licensee's conduct is a far greater source of compliance risk to you then your own conduct? This article explores the risks implicit in the Licensee and proposes some practical ways to mitigate those risks.

Read More
Appropriate, and better, risk advice.

Struggling to understand how to recognise 'appropriate' risk advice? Worried whether reasonable advice  meets the best interest duty? This article tackles these ideas and argues that appropriateness doesn't require an adviser to provide perfect or ideal advice. Nor does it require the adviser to provide the highest level of care. 'Appropriate advice' is fit for purpose and based on the risk professional's consideration of their client's relevant personal circumstances. 

Read More
The Limitations of disclosure

If the purpose of disclosure is to ensure that clients make informed and considered decisions about the recommendations presented to them then disclosure is an inelegant and inadequate solution. This article explores the limitations of disclosure and the practical alternative embraced by advice professionals.

Read More
Gliding over all: Beyond Banking Bad

Although it’s difficult to assess its impact on the broader community, there is little doubt that Four Corners’ “expose” of Commonwealth Financial Planning generated contemplation, conversation and consternation in the financial services industry. The recent story “Banking Bad” by Adele Ferguson and Deb Masters focused on the sales-driven culture inside the Commonwealth Bank's financial planning division; but it also raised additional questions about the structure and composition of the broader advice industry.

Read More
Crises of culture

A recent report on the financial services industry noted that while industry executives "champion the importance of ethical conduct …. they struggle to see the benefits of greater adherence to ethical standards". So how do we reconcile statements that "ethical conduct is just as important as financial success at their firm" with acknowledgements "that strict adherence to such codes [makes] career progression difficult." What does this contradiction really mean for Compliance Managers and shareholders?

Read More
Commonwealth Financial Planning v Couper: An Insider’s view

Martin Culleton, a Partner with regional law firm RMB lawyers, was the solicitor for Noel Stevens (and then the estate of Noel Stevens) who took on Commonwealth Financial Planning over inappropriate advice, secured a decision in his client’s favour and successfully defended CFP’s appeal against the initial judgment. In this post Culleton talks about Commonwealth Financial Planning v Couper, compliance, conflict and the specific challenges faced by advisers within vertically integrated businesses.

Read More
Risk Advice and Advice Risk: 6 Lessons from Couper

In the context of Commissioner Kell's crusade against commissions, churn and conflicts, risk advisers' processes have started to attract a heightened degree of regulatory attention. Despite the expected legislative roll back of some FOFA elements, regulatory scrutiny of risk advice is only likely to increase in the wake of the New South Wales Court of Appeal's decision in Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited v Couper [2013] NSWCA 444. This article considers what FOS, ASIC and PI Insurers are likely to take from this decision and suggests steps Advisers should take in response.

Read More