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Planning bodies hit back at NTAA

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and Financial Planning Association (FPA) have defended the industry against the National Tax and Accountants’ Association’s (NTAA's) scathing attack, demanding an apology on behalf of members.

Earlier this week, the NTAA issued a public statement which told consumers to seek advice from an accountant rather than a financial planner and used scathing language to describe the planning profession, saying it was “bereft of integrity”.

The FPA and AFA have not minced their words in response.

“The NTAA's comments are grossly offensive, trivialise an important social issue and defame members of the financial planning profession,” FPA chief executive Mark Rantall told ifa.

“This shameful approach for seeking publicity in the pursuit of commercial interests has no place in the professional community, and demeans all professions.

“The FPA is taking the necessary action to seek an apology and retraction on behalf its members.”

AFA chief executive Brad Fox also voiced his displeasure at the comments, describing them as “surprising” and not reflective of the true relationship between the two sectors of financial services.

“It’s not normal behaviour for a professional organisation to try and point score off another, particularly where it’s a complementary profession,” Mr Fox said.

“Accountants and financial advisers have a long history of working very closely together – I'm not sure what the personal experience of the NTAA leadership has been with financial advisers but it doesn’t represent the norm.

“We work very closely with some accounting professional organisations and many financial advisers work closely in a business sense with accountants, sometimes under the same roof.”

In June, as the negotiations over the amendments to the Tax Agents Services Act were underway, shadow minister for financial services Mathias Cormann spoke out against the “turf war” between accountants and financial planners raging in the industry.

"If there is a turf war, it's not coming from our side," Mr Fox said.