2000: Code Unknown – Haneke
A private hospital which accepts NHS work seems to be in the firing line. It is reported that the hospital in question instructed doctors to artificially delay operations on non-paying patients. The hope was that this would encourage them to pay fees for private treatment. It seems that this has now set the cat amongst the pigeons. It would appear that some are willing to massage their figures to boost their numbers.
This leads nicely into all that is the Retail Distribution Review. You will recall from 2013 advisers will be either independent or restricted. At the moment, other professionals are meant to refer their clients only to independent financial advisers. Here we see another set of massaged numbers as a leading Accountancy trade body has decided to redraft its code of ethics, to potentially allow Accountants to refer their clients to restricted advisers. The ICAEW seem to now be reviewing their general principle. I have some sympathy, the FSA have made a pigs breakfast of the terminology and definition of independent and restricted, but never-the-less I am wary of changes to codes of ethics, where these have no real basis of necessity. The head of the ICAEW’s financial services faculty is suggesting that Accountants must assess whether a restricted adviser can cover enough of the market that is relevant to the clients needs. The code will remain fundamentally unchanged; we are simply altering the terminology.” I guess he has a point, if the Accountant is simply looking to get a pension set up, but missing the holistic element of financial planning is often an extremely costly mistake. Solicitors are similarly softening their stance as well (Solicitors Regulation Authority). I’m sure that this has nothing at all to do with representations from firms with links to advisers that won’t be independent, that provide some rather generous payments for introductions.

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