Govt lobbied on ASIC powers

Senior Coalition figures have been approached as part of a grassroots campaign against the FPA’s 10-point plan proposal to give ASIC additional suspension powers over advisers.

Members of the AIOFP lobby group have met with senior Western Australian Liberal Party officials and MPs in recent days – including at least two federal ministers – to voice concern over the FPA’s proposal to give additional enforcement powers to the corporate regulator.

Speaking to ifa, AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston revealed that a “number of influential WA-based senators” have indicated that they are “fully supportive of ASIC not having [the] ability to deny advisers their constitutional rights of natural justice”.

Mr Johnston previously told ifa his organisation sees the FPA’s proposal as a licence for ASIC to “shoot and ask questions later”, tantamount to a “blatant denial of justice” whereby a suspected non-compliant adviser can suffer “irreparable” reputational damage without being found guilty by a court or equivalent judicial institution.

The AIOFP has also upped its lobbying efforts on conflicts on interest in vertically integrated financial planning models, and will extend the campaign beyond WA-based parliamentarians to ASIC itslf, Mr Johnston said.

“We will be writing to the ASIC chairman asking why ASIC can tolerate institutions operating loss making practices under obscure names, duping the public into believing they are independent practices and then selling them their owners in house products regardless of their quality or appropriateness for the clients circumstances,” he said.

“With over 75 per cent of the advice market operating under [vertically integrated models], it has become quite apparent why the FPA did not include this conflicted relationship in their 10-point plan to improve the market for consumers.”

Meanwhile, the BFP – another lobby group representing non-aligned financial advice businesses – has come out in support of the FPA’s 10-point plan.

Do you support the proposal to give ASIC additional suspension powers? Have your say below

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