Veteran adviser rejects FOFA rollback

A 32-year boutique financial adviser has penned a submission to Treasury arguing against the proposed changes to FOFA and pointing to “dodgy dealings” by industry colleagues.

Self-licensed financial adviser Philip Carman of Personal Asset Services has written a submission to Treasury, along with his wife and business partner, fellow financial adviser Alison Carman, expressing their opposition to the proposed amendments to FOFA.

“[We] strongly believe that rolling back any part of the FOFA measures designed to increase transparency to and for consumers is both misguided and detrimental both to consumers and to the health and confidence in financial services,” stated the submission, which was seen by ifa.

Rather, “there needs to be a strengthening of regulation” and consumer protection mechanisms, Mr and Mrs Carman wrote, arguing that many practitioners are less scrupulous than others.

“As a 32-year veteran of the financial advice industry, I have seen many changes come and go, as well as too many dodgy dealings amongst my industry colleagues – some of whom have done gaol time, but others of whom have managed to slip past the long arm of the law,” the submission said.

“Consumers must be protected from those who are either poorly trained, conflicted by remuneration methods designed to encourage sales of product, or who deliberately seek to misrepresent and/or defraud consumers.”

The boutique advisers argued that FOFA’s conflicted remuneration ban should be furthered to ensure that “all advice [is remunerated via] fee for service rather than based on sales”.

The submission contends that the “distrust” of the financial advice profession is an issue of national importance and an “impediment to the economic health of the country”.

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