The recent testimony from the Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry has revealed troubling findings about the practices of some financial advice providers.
I am conscious that this may be worrying our clients, and so I am writing to address some of the significant matters revealed by the Commission to date within the context of Newcastle Financial Planning Group’s operations.
The Commission’s line of inquiry focuses on four areas:
- Whether financial products are recommended in the best interest of clients
- Collection of fees where advice or services were not provided
- Payment of commissions by product manufacturers
- Education and professional standards required to be a financial planner.
Recommendations On Products
The products recommended by NFPG advisers have been through a rigorous assessment process, which tests for performance, endurance and credentials. The products we recommend are from a diverse range of sources to ensure that they serve the best interests of our clients. We follow this practice to avoid the pitfalls that we are seeing with the vertical integration systems, whereby providers both make and sell their own financial products.
Fees and Commissions
NFPG provides complete transparency with disclosure of the fees for our services and any commissions we receive. These are detailed through our fee disclosure statement to clients and within our Statement of Advice, which is provided well ahead of any commitment by the client. NFPG will only ever proceed with clients who fully understand how we are remunerated for our advice.
Education and Training
NFPG is committed to the ongoing education and training of our financial advisers. We have 100% compliance among our advisers on required completions in continuing professional education. In addition, each year NFPG advisers attend week-long training on national and international best practice. This training and education is supported by weekly information sessions and mentoring for each of our advisers.
NFPG finds the experiences and activities revealed through the Royal Commission deeply concerning. We unreservedly support any move that ensures all financial planners act in the best interest of their clients.
NFPG remains a passionate advocate for the value that good advice brings to people’s lives. The Royal Commission will bring about change to our industry, which we welcome.
If you have additional questions about our services or products, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 02 4032 7934.
Newcastle Financial Planning Group* and its advisers are Authorised Representatives of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 AFSL 238429. This editorial does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial solutions or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser. From time to time we may send you informative updates and details of the range of services we can provide. If you no longer want to receive this information please contact our office to opt out. The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of Licensee’s position, and are not to be attributed to the Licensee. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.