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Palmer United breaks FOFA silence

Clive Palmer has at last given an indication of how his three upper house party colleagues may vote on the government’s FOFA amendments when they resume their Senate seats from July.

Mr Palmer told the Australian Financial Review on Sunday that he would side with Labor and the Greens to vote down the government’s amendments, ending months of speculation as to where the MP for Fairfax and his Palmer United Party senators-elect may stand.

“What sort of an idiot tries to take away from Australians their normal rights to a fair go?” said Mr Palmer.

“We’ll get rid of [the FOFA amendments]. The men and women of Australia – the pensioners and working classes – should be allowed to rely on the advice they’re given.”

Meanwhile, Senator Nick Xenophon rose in parliament yesterday to formally oppose the amendment Bill, having expressed his concerns with the Bill on Twitter last week.

“The FOFA legislation under the previous government was not perfect but it was one that I supported because it addressed some yawning gaps in consumer protections for consumers of financial advice – gaps that turned into chasms of financial disaster for too many Australians,” Mr Xenophon said, singling out Commonwealth FP and Storm Financial in particular.

“Who wants to go back to the bad old days which saw planners inherently conflicted between earning commissions and giving advice in the best interests of their clients? If the industry has nothing to hide then it has nothing to fear.”


The South Australian senator also criticised the government’s stated approach, arguing that implementing the amendments via regulation is “not enough” and that “a legislative framework is preferable”.

The independent senator also alleged that “two thirds [of advice clients] are completely passive and may not even know they are paying advisers”.

However, FPA general manager, policy and conduct, Dante De Gori, told ifa the decision to enact the bulk of the amendments through regulation is “effective and smart”.