It takes a fair dose of chutzpah to publicly analyse and critique decisions made by the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP).

But it’s all in a day’s work for certified financial planner Michael Miller, who is a practicing financial planner and has made a name for himself on the side as a self-appointed analyst of actions and reprimands handed out to his industry colleagues.

Miller, who launched his financial planning practice in 2012, is someone many in the industry watch closely as he openly critiques the outcomes of decisions of the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP).

While the Financial Advisers Register doesn’t normally disclose the name of the financial adviser involved in a matter unless the outcome is required to be displayed on the register, Miller writes on the outcomes on a case-by-case basis, drawing his own conclusions along the way.

In the most recent decision, published on 11 August, Miller criticised a lack of detail provided by FSCP, which he says requires a large degree of assumption and reading between the lines to understand.

In the previous analysis published on 29 July, he steps the industry through where his colleagues have failed to do the right thing by the broader industry and where standards have been breached.

A month earlier, he was unpacking why a third-party marketing agency was employed to secure leads for superannuation advice, with highly templated and scoped advice of dubious quality provided to a consumer.

Miller’s analysis includes what scoping of insurance advice means, including what the undefined term of “layered advice” actually means for financial planners.

Guidance and advice for the industry

Michael Miller

Miller hopes that his analysis helps uncover some guidance and advice for the industry so that it can improve over time.

His collective takeaway so far is simple: The industry is in better shape as a result of the discipline being dished out.

“What has been positive out of the decisions from the panels to date is the way that the sanctions available have been applied for the benefit of the financial planning profession as a whole,” he says.

Some decisions looking at the individual file may be unclear whether it was an isolated case of a poor outcome for a client, or if the issue was in relation to the broader practice of financial planning by an individual, or the business they are employed by, he explains.

In a number of decisions, the panel has chosen to require an audit of future advice by an independent professional, with the results of that audit to be reported both to licensee and ASIC.