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Government to monitor vertical integration

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has revealed the government intends to scrutinise the competitiveness of the financial advice market, seeking to create a ‘level playing field’.

 Addressing the Association of Independently Owned Financial Planners (AIOFP) national conference in Hobart today, Senator Sinodinos said that while implementation of the government’s FOFA amendments was the “number one priority”, competition is also on the agenda.

Joking that he “comes from one of the ‘evil vertical integrators’” – having held senior roles at the National Australia Bank – the assistant treasurer said he is committed to seeing a “level playing field” in financial advice.

“We will monitor, along with the corporate regulator, the competitiveness of the industry,” Mr Sinodinos said.

“All advisers, no matter who they are licensed by, need to compete transparently on a level basis,” he said.

Too many Australian industries have lost competitiveness and independent contractors have often been most targeted, the senator said.

“John Howard understood the importance of independent small business,” he said.


The comments follow ASIC's revelation in September that it sees inherent conflicts of interest in vertically integrated business models.