A financial adviser has written a new standard for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for his peers to follow to avoid conflicts of interest. Problem is, three years after the financial services royal commission highlighted the issue of conflicts of interest, his practice is the only one to so far comply with the new standard.
The Certainty Advice Group is a national affiliation of professional financial advisers that guarantees advice given is free of any conflicts. It charges a flat fee for advice and investors pay no ongoing commissions on financial products. The methodology they use is Australia’s first ACCC-approved standard for conflict-free financial advice. The group seeks to distance itself from the scandal-plagued advice sector.
Founder Jim Stackpool notes ASIC’s Fees for No Service Report did a great job at exposing hidden fees. Not to mention the hundreds of millions in fees paid back to consumers who have been overcharged as a result of taking financial advice over the last few years. Nevertheless, conflicts are still a problem in the sector.