A number of supplementary submissions to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry have been published following the end of the second hearings on financial advice and wealth management.
Among them, a submission from the FPA responded to questions raised by counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC about its disciplinary process and whether its protocol regarding complainants is appropriate.
The association – whose chief executive Dante De Gori appeared as a witness before the royal commission in April – defended its internal member discipline procedure, likening it to that of CAANZ.
“There is nothing unorthodox in not affording a right to a complainant be heard, as an advocate, in respect of professional disciplinary proceedings invoked in response to a complaint,” the submission stated.
“That is the practice in other professional disciplinary regimes, where the parties to the complaint process do not include the complainant.
“Complaints against chartered accountants are referred to the professional conduct committee of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in relation to breaches of ethics, standards, rule and by-laws of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
“The professional conduct committee may request the complainant to appear before the professional conduct committee to discuss the complaint or any matter arising from it, however the complainant is not a party to the proceedings and does not have a right to appear and be heard as an advocate.”
The submission also references the status quo for medical and legal professional complaints.
“No conclusion is warranted that the FPA disciplinary regulation is deficient for not conferring on a complainant a right to be heard in disciplinary proceedings,” it concludes.