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Compliance Demystified

For too long the financial advice industry has been hijacked by a growing 'compliance' industry which together with sections of the legal fraternity have been in a feeding frenzy on fear created for their own self interests.

Adviser compliance requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 and the associated Regulatory regime are not complex and never have been.

These requirements which are aimed at improving the quality of financial advice, have changed little since the Financial Services Reforms took place more than ten years ago. Further, the changes under the new Future of Financial Reform Legislation are neither complex nor difficult as some of the self-interested scaremongering has prophesied.

The ultimate aim of all the reforms is to continue to ensure that quality financial advice is given and that clients are placed in a position to make an informed decision about acting on adviser recommendations. No more and no less.

Threats and Weaknesses
The biggest threat to a well-run and compliant business is not the Regulator. Rather, it is those of the legal profession who while ostensibly acting in the client’s best interests, are in fact aiming at what has become in recent times, an all too easy target – the adviser.

The weakness on the adviser’s part, is a lack of understanding of the simple processes necessary in order to comply with the Corporations Act 2001 and its related Regulatory Guides.

Further the Financial Ombudsman’s Service is not generally seen as a fair arbiter in disputes but to be fair to the Service when one examines the documentation they are provided with, there is little wonder at the outcomes.

It’s time to demystify compliance in your business.
You can expect the following results:

  • Removal of fear
  • Streamlining of processes
  • Simplifying documentation and Statements of Advice
  • Protection against litigation and disputes
  • Improved efficiencies
  • Significant reduction in operating expenses
  • Embedding a culture of compliance in your operations
  • Spending less time on non-productive and often unnecessary “compliance” activities.
  • Spending more time with clients

Published articles by Frank Smith

The Best Interests Duty. (and why it won’t make your SoAs longer.) The Best Interests Duty. (and why it won’t make your SoAs longer.) (62 KB)

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What Our Clients Say

I have had the pleasure of working with Frank in the capacity as what I call my "compliance coach" for the last 5 years. Technically, Frank's role is called a compliance officer or auditor, however this is not a true representation of what Frank brings to my financial planning business.

In the past we have had the standard "tick a box" audits, none of which, in hindsight have provided the clear advice and direction we required. Frank's common-sense approach is to focus on the issues that matter that enable us to provide our clients with "clear and concise" advice documents. We are pleased to be able to use Frank’s services on an ongoing basis to further strengthen our compliance processes. I have no hesitation to recommending Frank to anyone that wants a simpler "Statement of Advice" that speaks to the client.

Rob Goudie
Meritum Financial Group - Horsham

Not only is Frank a brilliant communicator, he is on the ball with his practical advice to Financial Planners. His advice to FP’s some years ago at my seminars has been affirmed by the FOFA practicum. And yet some FP’s continue to blind their clients with 40+ page SOA’s and the failure to fulfil ASIC ancillary requirements. As an experienced estate planning lawyer specialising in TTW’s and high net worth clients, Frank is the man, I am always keen to introduce to my referring sources. He will be definitely be keynote at my forthcoming EP seminars. Avoid him at your risk.

Lindsay Stoddart
Acorn Lawyers

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Phone: 04 87 870 012