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Enshrinement unnecessary, says Coalition

The enshrinement of the term ‘financial planner’ in a Bill tabled yesterday will only lead to further ‘red tape’ and regulation, says Coalition financial services spokesperson Senator Mathias Cormann.

Speaking to ifa sister title InvestorDaily, Senator Cormann said he was unconvinced of the need for the Bill and that the Coalition will be referring the legislation to the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services.

“The government has attached its proposal to enshrine the term ‘financial planner’ and ‘financial adviser’ to a completely unrelated Bill about corporate bonds which was introduced into Parliament today,” Cormann said.

“We remain unconvinced of the need for this additional bit of regulation.

“Those who are pushing for this change see it as a first step on a pathway towards further regulation and additional costly red tape down the track.”

The senator said the enshrinement was unnecessary as there are already safeguards to protect consumers on the form for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).

“Providing financial advice without an appropriate AFSL is fraud now,” he said.

The comments indicate the legislation’s passage is not assured, despite a broad welcome from industry bodies such as the Financial Planning Association and Association of Financial Advisers yesterday.