Advice associations fear legal implications

The FPA, FSC and AFA have voiced serious concerns about the FOFA disallowance motion, arguing the development will result in dangerous uncertainty for industry.

The FPA was first to issue a statement yesterday – following the announcement that Senators Jacquie Lambie and Ricky Muir were pulling support for the government’s amendments – explaining the current situation could put advisers in “breach of law”.

“This will have a catastrophic effect across the entirety of the financial services industry, one of the largest employers of people in Australia,” said FPA chief executive Mark Rantall.

“If passed, this disallowance motion will continue five years of uncertainty for financial planners and their clients which commenced when the FOFA process began under the Labor Government.”

The AFA also issued a statement, voicing concern over the implications for the grandfathering provisions in the regulations proposed by the government.

“We have particular concern over the blocking of amendments that resolve the issue of grandfathering,” said AFA chief executive Brad Fox in a statement.

“This will need to be reconsidered as this problem from the initial FOFA legislation has removed competition from the financial advice market to the detriment and concern of financial advice clients and their advisers.

“Both the Government and Opposition have previously acknowledged that the grandfathering problem needs to be fixed and we will be diligent in ensuring a resolution is found.”

Meanwhile, the FSC said an unamended FOFA would create a “legal quagmire” and “havoc” in the financial services industry.

“Overturning the FOFA regulations at the eleventh hour will do more harm than good,” said FSC chief executive John Brogden.

“The market impacts of an immediate disallowance would create a legal quagmire, millions of dollars in business disruption costs and reduce affordability and accessibility of financial advice to Australians.”

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