Independents issue reform wish list

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has been formally presented with a list of desired reform items from the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP).

AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston lobbied Senator Sinodinos, in the form of a live presentation, at the association’s national conference in Hobart yesterday.

“Most agree that the Ripoll Inquiry results were fair,” Mr Johnston said. “Most also agree the previous government victimised the independents and unnecessarily overburdened the industry with complexity, compliance and red tape”.

Describing the non-aligned advice sector as an “unwanted family dog”, Mr Johnston called for government intervention on issues such as disclosure of ownership of advice companies, the need for clarity on FOFA grandfathering provisions and the classification of investment platforms.

On this last issue, Mr Johnston said “platforms are universally recognised as administration services, not investment products” but that the regulatory system does not comply with this definition.

Issuing a formal response, Senator Sinodinos said he welcomes an “open discussion” on this issue and that it had not been on his radar prior to AIOFP lobbying efforts.

More broadly, Senator Sinodinos committed to a timeline by which the government will implement its pre-election FOFA repeal promises, indicating he will propose amendments to Cabinet before the end of the year, with draft legislation for presentation to parliament to be finalised “by early February”.

As reported by ifa yesterday, Mr Sinodinos said he will also be monitoring vertically integrated financial advice business models to ensure competitiveness in the industry. 

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