Senator raises red flag on advice

A Coalition senator has voiced his concerns about the financial planning industry, after filing a notice of motion to hold an inquiry into ASIC’s handling of reported misconduct at Commonwealth Financial Planning in the parliament yesterday.

Speaking to ifa, New South Wales Nationals Senator John Williams said he is concerned about the corporate regulator and about the financial planning industry more broadly.

“I do worry about this industry,” he said. “I worry when we have $1.5 trillion in super, a lot of it now self-managed.

“Many Australians are going to rely on good, honest advice for their futures and we need to have that industry clean and honest and the customers best interests must be the priority.”

Senator Williams anticipated bipartisan support on the issue of whether to hold an inquiry into ASIC’s handling of the matter, which shows conduct in the financial advice industry is now on the political agenda.

The notice of motion followed revelations in the Fairfax media that ASIC had received information from a Commonwealth FP whistleblower in October 2008 and had not acted for 16 months.

“How much more wrongdoing was carried out in those 16 months? How many investors were overcharged and perhaps even had signatures forged?,” the Senator asked.

The motion to have an official parliamentary inquiry into the matter will be voted on in the upper house today.

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