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FPA sticks to its guns on ASIC powers

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall has elaborated on the proposal to give ASIC additional suspension powers over financial advisers outlined in the 10-point plan.

Offering a right of reply to comments made by AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston yesterday, Mr Rantall told ifa that while he “welcomes any intelligent debate on the white paper”, the FPA has received “overwhelming support” so far for the 10-point plan from the advice community.

Debate over the white paper proposal has revealed a stark dichotomy between “some interest groups which have been established to support the commercial interest of their members” and the FPA as a “professional association”.

In addition, Mr Rantall clarified the white paper proposal to give ASIC additional enforcement powers to regulate breaches of the best interest duty.

“The profession and regulators need to be given powers and authority to act to ensure consumers are not put in harm’s way,” Mr Rantall said.

“Both have received criticism for not acting quickly enough. Give them the power to take swift and decisive action when there is evidence of serious and systemic breaches of the best interest duty to clients. We must be able to take those that are destroying people’s lives out of the system quickly.”

The 10-point plan is aimed at “building this profession for an eternity”, Mr Rantall said, and that it is “therefore critical that we elevate above the noise of short-term commercial gain to build something that will stand the test of time”.