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Parliament passes enshrinement Bill

The terms 'financial planner' and 'financial adviser' are set to be enshrined in corporations law, following the passage of a Bill in the federal House of Representatives. 

 Late last night the lower house voted in favour of the Corporations Amendment (Simple Corporate Bonds and Other Measures) Bill 2013: Amendments, acting on the recommendation of the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services that the piece of legislation be passed.

In a statement, financial services and superannuation minister Bill Shorten said the financial planning-relevant sections of the Bill would further the government's Future of Financial Advice agenda.

"The amendments enshrining the terms ‘financial adviser’ and ‘financial planner’ and similar terms will enhance consumer protections by making it easier for Australian consumers to identify genuine providers of financial product advice," he said. 

"The amendments will make it an offence for a person to hold themselves out to be an authorised financial adviser or financial planner when they are not, or to use terms of similar importance, thereby helping to protect consumers against property spruikers and other unlicensed operators.

"The financial advice industry has welcomed these amendments as a historic reform that will benefit both consumers and industry, and will strengthen the benefits of the Government’s Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reform package."

The move follows a period of intense lobbying from financial advice industry stakeholders and a thorough PJC investigation.