The paper 'Financial Planning Firms Practices and Advice' is a great example of a Finance and Accounting Assignment. Ethical issues with regard to the financial services industry affect many people either directly or indirectly. Practitioners and consumers are all affected when ethical issues in the financial service industry are raised. Australian scandals involving financial firms, practice, and advice raise important professional issues when it comes to seeking financial advice. Clients have lost millions of money in scandals that could have been avoided if the right kind of information had been provided in advance.
Clients entrust financial planners and advisers with the responsibility of giving them sound advice on the investments that they are about to make or anticipate to make (Jones, 2011). When a big scandal that involves loss of money occurs, the professionalism of financial planners, practice, and advice is put to question. Do these practitioners in the financial service industry have some code of professionals, ethics, and conduct when offering their services? In many industries, the interests of the clients come before the interests of the organization.
This is crucial because the firm wants to retain customers and increase its customer base for growth, profitability, and productivity. It comes as a shock when in financial service industry practitioners are more into enriching themselves than giving sound advice to their clients which will make them come again or refer their friends or relatives to the firm. Professionalism is not observed to the latter considering the number of financial scandals that have resulted in clients being reaped off their hard-earned cash through sham investments. Consumers of financial services are entitled to be provided with full information that will help them make sound financial planning and investment.
Ethical behavior and professionalism have to be observed to avoid situations where clients are duped into making wrong investment decisions that will haunt them for the rest of their lives (Pearson, 2009). Many scandals have happened in Australia with regard to financial services provided by advisors in the financial sector. Some of these cases have led to the loss of millions in dollars of investors’ hard-earned savings. Issues of professionalism in the financial service industry have been largely blamed for the mayhem that has caused havoc in the financial service industry. The case at Macquarie Group highlights some of the fundamental professional issues in the financial services industry in Australia.
Seemingly stockbrokers employed at Macquarie Group’ s personal investment advisory business were sloppy in their paperwork to the extent that their engagement with private clients was below the best practice expected. The practice looked harmless to compel the head of banking and financial services to indicate the shortcoming to the knowledge of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) when they were first realized in 2008 (Kehoe & Thompson, 2013).
The management believed that the issues could be sorted out without calling for the attention of the public or the regulator. However, whatever seemed to be just a case of corporate carelessness orchestrated public punishment by the regulator and widespread negative publicity concerning Macquarie’ s serious and numerous breaches of the rules designed for protection of the investing public. Stockbrokers who had been regarded as advisers by ASIC were unable, repeatedly, to keep records of advice given to clients and what led to that advice.
Macquarie had no records whether the client were sophisticated investors with the capacity to interpret complex financial advice or not.
Jones, M., 2011, Creative Accounting, Fraud and International Accounting Scandals, John Wiley & Sons, Melbourne.
Kehoe, J. & Thompson, S., 2013, Inside Story: The mess Macquarie Made, Financial Review, retrieved from http://www.afr.com/p/national/inside_story_the_mess_macquarie_oOjQYHe2QuY5ApRUJNX7mL on 25th May 2013.
Knapp, M.C., 2011, Contemporary Auditing: Real Issues and Cases, Cengage Learning, New York.
Pearson, G., 2009, Financial Services Law and Compliance in Australia, Cambridge University Press.
Tulder, R., & van der Zwart, A., 2005, International Business-Society Management: Linking Corporate Responsibility and Globalization, Routledge, London.