Best Interest Of Client In The Risk Advice Space
BEST INTEREST OF CLIENT IN THE RISK ADVICE SPACE
There has always been a PROFESSIONAL obligation on the part of financial planners to give appropriate advice to their clients regarding personal protection.
Under FSR in 2004 a LEGAL obligation was added to the professional obligation for financial planners to do the right thing by their clients when it came to personal protection.
Now 10 years later under the new FOFA legislation, since it was considered insufficient to rely on the fiduciary duty already applicable to financial planners to act in the best interest of their clients, we now have another legal obligation - this time a BEST INTEREST DUTY imposed on financial planners.
For the large majority of financial planners who have always acted in the best interest of their clients the new legislation will be no great imposition. However, it did get me thinking that there has never been a more appropriate time to put our RISK ADVICE PROCESS & STRATEGIES under the microscope and put a whole range of day to day practices to the BEST INTEREST OF CLIENT test.
I have identified 20 DIFFERENT ISSUES in the risk advice process where we should be conscious of what is in the best interest of our clients and I have come at it from the standpoint that it will always be in our clients' best interest to make it as easy as possible for them to have an appropriate personal protection package and for them to keep it in place for an appropriate period of time.
The 20 ISSUES are mostly to do with the CLIENT ENGAGEMENT PROCESS, but they also cover ADVICE STRATEGIES & PRODUCT ISSUES. Also in most cases I have included a BTW (By The Way) which points out a benefit that you and/or your business will derive from acting in the BEST INTEREST OF YOUR CLIENT.
Hopefully the 20 ISSUES outlined will stimulate some thought processes and motivate advisers to revisit their Risk Advice Process to ensure that they are doing everything they can to create a QUALITY EXPERIENCE for their clients which goes a long way above what any regulator would require as a bare minimum.