Campaign to blame for FOFA freeze

AustralianSuper chief executive Ian Silk has suggested the government's decision to pause the passage of the FOFA amendments is a response to the widespread campaign against the 'roll-back'.

Speaking at the ASIC Annual Forum in Sydney yesterday, Mr Silk said the Labor government’s “tortuously negotiated compromise on FOFA” strikes a better compromise.

“I think it is a widespread campaign that some elements of the roll-back are tilting the balance too much in the direction of providers of advice and too far away from the interests of consumers of advice,” he said.

“I hope the government is listening to some of that and will try and strike a reasonable balance because, of course, it is not a black and white situation.”

Conversely, Financial Services Council chief executive John Brogden – a fellow panellist at yesterday’s ASIC Forum – sees no downside in the delay.

“I assume the government’s decision is in part because Matthias Cormann is in the role,” Mr Brogden said.

“I don’t see any downside to making sure the legislation regulations are fully understood before they are received,” he said.

Financial Planning Association of Australia chief executive Mark Rantall said yesterday’s ‘good faith’ decision to place on hold the introduction of regulatory amendments to FOFA legislation is a welcome initiative.

“FPA applauds Finance Minister Matthias Cormann for taking further time to properly investigate changes that would otherwise have been introduced as regulatory reform this week,” Mr Rantall said.

“FPA fundamentally supports the original intent of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms based on sensible policy alignment, removal of unnecessary red tape and maintenance of consumer protection,” he said.

“We welcome the decision by Minister Cormann and look forward to continuing our constructive discussions to find practical solutions to these amendments.”

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