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FOFA deal 'six months too late': Ripoll

The government’s determination to push its FOFA amendments through “all or nothing” has put the financial advice industry at risk, says shadow minister Bernie Ripoll.

Speaking to ifa ahead of the announcement of a deal between the two major parties to make minor changes to the FOFA legislation – including on the crucial issue of grandfathered commissions – Labor financial services spokesperson and MP for Oxley Bernie Ripoll said this consensus could have been reached a long time ago.

“The government chose a complicated and difficult path to getting its changes through ie. through ministerial edict or regulations, which was a disallowable instrument,” Mr Ripoll said.

“Our view is that where we can agree we ought to move as quickly as possible.

“The reality is that we could have done this six months ago had we had a willing partner – the crash through, all or nothing approach is no way to treat the financial services sector.”

The shadow minister said Labor is committed to the original FOFA legislation implemented by the previous government, but that it understood the need to act on grandfathering especially in order to allow free movement of trade in the financial services industry.

“We want to ensure there is no jeopardy for advisers in terms of the work they do,” he said.

The AFA issued a statement welcoming the move and reflecting on lobbying efforts in the week since the fateful disallowance motion passed through the Senate.

“Following the disallowance last week, we sought urgent action from both the government and the opposition in order to deliver a solution to grandfathering which would address the reduction in competition and the inability of a client to choose their financial adviser,” said AFA CEO Brad Fox.

“To see the issue resolved in this way reflects a sensible bi-partisan approach and we appreciate the efforts of both the minister and shadow minister in moving so quickly given the circumstances,” he said.