Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

23 May 2018

Andrew White, Partner, Private Wealth |

Many of us have been following with interest the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The level of scrutiny into banks and financial planning has been increasing at both the commission and in the media.

Although the commission is still continuing, BDO can address some of the testimony around financial planning.

One focus of enquiry has been on the vertical integration approach to financial planning, whereby advisers may recommend/preference their own organisations’ products to clients. Closing two weeks of evidence, counsel assisting Rowena Orr, QC, called for submissions on whether the separation of product and advice should be enforced.

Another focus of enquiry has been on authorised representatives, as opposed to employee representatives. The concern being raised is regarding sufficient supervision, training and professional development for advisers. ASIC’s preferred model is employee representatives, where the employer can more closely monitor and support their advisers.

In regard to both of these lines of enquiry, BDO Private Wealth operates under ASIC’s preferred practice of employee representatives, and our focus is not on products, but on tailoring strategies to clients’ overall financial objectives.

It is too early to predict the outcome of the Royal Commission and the impact on the financial planning industry. However, if you or anyone you know is concerned about their financial planning arrangements in light of the royal commission, or who need reassurance with their investment strategies, please contact BDO Private Wealth.

BDO will continue to monitor the Royal Commission and provide any necessary updates.


The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings, etc., as at the date of issue. In some cases, the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice on specific circumstances.

The financial product advice or information in this document is of general nature only and has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Before making an investment decision on the basis of the advice above, a prospective investor needs to consider, with or without the assistance of a professional adviser, whether the advice is appropriate in the light of their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.