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25769 Ethics for Financial Planning

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Finance
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Postgraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

All financial planning professionals must have an understanding of ethical behavior and standards of conduct governing their professional judgment when advising clients and interacting with other stakeholders. This subject provides students who are interested in financial planning with the understanding of: (1) the role of the financial planning profession within the industry and its importance for society, (2) various ethical frameworks and decision making tools applicable to successful and sustainable professional practice, (3) the application of codes of ethics and standards of professional conduct to financial planning practice, (4) the importance and key aspects of due diligence processes and outcomes for client relationships, and (5) the pivotal role of clients' interests in the advisor-client relationship. Emphasis is placed on the application of tools and techniques to real-world problems to enable students to exercise responsible and sustainable decision making in their place of work.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Describe the importance of codes of ethics and standards of ethical behaviour for the financial planning profession
2. Demonstrate an understanding of key components of various ethical frameworks, including standard rules of professional conduct, diligence and client care, and professional development and commitment
3. Identify obligations under codes of ethics and standards of professional conduct
4. Analyse, evaluate and solve cases of ethical dilemmas in financial planning through application of ethical frameworks

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject introduces students to a range of ethical frameworks, principles, and rules that prepare them for the management of ethical dilemmas in the financial planning profession. This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  1. Attitudes and values

This subject contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Objectives:

  • PLO 4.1 critically analyse business decisions in terms of ethical practice and social responsibility
  • PLO 4.2 critically evaluate and apply sustainability principles in an investment and financial planning context

Teaching and learning strategies

Classes will be based on blended and flipped learning approaches. Students will also be required to participate in online learning activities. Students will have to engage and prepare a range of materials before class, including academic and non-academic publications, industry body reports, media articles, etc. Classes will include facilitated discussion of relevant case studies and analysis of key pitfalls in the financial planning industry.

Content (topics)

  1. Importance of ethical standards in the financial planning industry.
  2. Relevant ethical frameworks.
  3. Principles and standards of ethical behaviour.
  4. Applications to real world financial planning scenarios.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Online quizzes

Intent:

This develops Program Learning Objectives 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Case study assessment report

Intent:

This develops Program Learning Objectives 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Final exam

Intent:

This develops Program Learning Objectives 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks and attend both assessments.

Required texts

Code of Ethics for Financial Advisers. FASEA Standards Authority. Current version: March 2018.

The pillars of our profession – Code of professional practice. Financial Planning Association of Australia. July 2013.

References

Ragatz, Julie A., Ronald F. Duska, and John R. Boatright. "Financial codes of ethics." Finance ethics: Critical issues in theory and practice (2010): 297-323.

Cull, M. and Sloan, T., 2016. Characteristics of trust in personal financial planning. Financial Planning Research Journal, 2(1), pp.12-35.

Understanding the Code of Professional Practice. Financial Planning Association of Australia. Online, accessed 24 April 2018.

Financial Planner Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Financial Planning Standards Board. 2011.

Code of Ethical Practice. The Australian Financial Counselling. 2012.

Standards of Practice Handbook. 11th edition (2014). CFA Institute, VA, USA.