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Banks to play 'central role' in adviser standards

The Australian Bankers Association has suggested that the banking industry has a “central role” to play in driving better professional standards for financial advisers.

ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg said the banks have a critical role to play in making sure their practices and procedures meet the standards consumers rightly expect from advisers.

“The banking industry acknowledges that is has a central role to play in driving the development of better professional standards and in ensuring those standards are met,” Mr Münchenberg said.

“We have therefore been pleased to work with the government and a wide range of stakeholders on its review of professional standards.

“These are crucial steps towards building greater consumer confidence in financial advice,” Mr Münchenberg said.

He added that this is a separate issue from the technical amendments needed to ensure the FOFA laws work as “intended and in the interests of consumers”.

"The banking industry has consistently supported the original policy intent of the FOFA reforms, including the introduction of a best interest duty and a ban on conflicted payments,” he said.

“These new and important consumer protections remain in place under the amendments being put forward by the government."

Mr Münchenberg said the banking industry also wants to ensure all Australians have access to affordable financial advice.

“We do not want to see legal complexity limit the access of Australians to affordable financial advice,” he said.

“These reforms, together with the development of enhanced professional standards, will help strengthen confidence and ensure access to affordable financial advice.”