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ASIC Senate Supports FPA Plan


The Senate Economics References Committee has tabled their Report and Recommendations on its Inquiry into the performance of ASIC.

The Committee has supported the FPA’s call to enshrine the term “financial planner” or “financial adviser” in law, with additional recommendations into the education, professional standards and membership of approved professional bodies.

We were pleased to see the vast majority of our 10 point plan in the 61 recommendations of the Inquiry.

At the heart of our 10 point plan is the raising of standards by requiring appropriate degree qualifications for new financial planners and continued professional development. The days of people doing a two week course and then being able to call themselves a financial planner should be long gone. We believe the combination of the right educational standards and a professional code will see the profession grow and serve the best interests of all Australians.

The Committee has also recommended that:

The Government establish an independent inquiry, possibly in the form of a judicial inquiry or Royal Commission, to examine the misconduct of advisers and planners within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s financial planning practices.
The Government develop greater protection and encouragement of whistleblowers in the financial system, including legislation to expand the scope of whistleblowing activity and enhance whistleblower protection.
A register of employee representatives providing personal advice on Tier 1 products be established, and mandatory reference checking procedures be introduced in the financial planning sector.
A ‘user-pays’ model be introduced for funding ASIC’s regulatory activities, where levies are allocated proportionally to the resources required to regulate particular sectors.
The Financial System Inquiry (FSI) carefully consider the adequacy of Australia’s conduct and disclosure approach to the regulation of financial product issuers as a means of protecting consumers.
We acknowledge the concerns of the Committee where inappropriate advice has led to clients loosing money and has caused significant personal stress and concern. Whilst the vast majority of professional financial planners take a transparent approach and provide advice to their clients which is in their best interest, we acknowledge the need to stamp out inappropriate advice practices.

The FPA will update members following the Minister’s response to the Senate Committee report.

Source FPA- Australia

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