Grandfathering lock-in not universal

Some financial advisers may be exempt from the “anomaly” within FOFA’s grandfathering clause locking advisers into their current AFSL arrangements, according to the Financial Planning Association.

A widely reported consequence of the Future of Financial Advice grandfathering regulations, released by Treasury on 28 June, is that advisers may not be able to take grandfathered revenue with them to new licensing arrangements, effectively locking them into their current dealer group.

Business broker John Birt of Radar Results described the situation as “anti-competitive”, while Association of Financial Advisers chief executive Brad Fox issued a clear message to his members:

“If you are thinking of joining a new licensee – particularly if you are an older business – then wait,” he said.

However, speaking at a media briefing in Sydney yesterday, FPA general manager, policy and conduct, Dante De Gori said a universal warning to all advisers does not reflect the reality of the regulations.

“You can’t blanketly say that everyone who wants to change licensee will receive the same advice – everyone’s situation is different; If people can wait for certainty that’s a luxury they have,” Mr De Gori said.

“Our message is seek your own legal advice, as you may actually be in a position where you are not captured by the grandfathering regs.

“I would advise against telling people to do nothing, but they should be aware of their situation and the potential consequences.”

Nonetheless the FPA is calling for both sides of federal politics to commit to “a systemic approach which ensures financial planners are free to move to licensees that suit their clients’ needs through fixing the glaring anomaly in grandfathering provisions”.

“The fledgling industry of financial planning has copped a torturous period of regulatory reform on the chin,” said FPA chief executive Mark Rantall.

“It is high time for all participants – from government and all players within the Australian financial services ecosystem – to support and promote the benefits of getting quality advice from qualified professional financial planners.” 

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