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Govt adviser register on track: Cormann

Finance minister Mathias Cormann has rejected media suggestions that Treasury has “watered down” elements of the government’s adviser register.

Responding to an article in the Australian Financial Review today that claims the register will no longer contain information about adviser qualifications, Senator Cormann issued a statement describing the report as “inaccurate”.

“The government remains fully committed and on track to deliver on its enhanced, industry-wide public register of financial advisers by March 2015,” Senator Cormann said.

“The register of financial advisers will enable investors, employers and ASIC to verify the credentials of financial advisers and be confident that they are appropriately qualified and experienced.”

The register will still include all of the details previously announced by the minister, including professional association membership and qualifications as well as licensee ownership information, the statement confirmed.

However, an explanatory statement on the exposure draft published on the Treasury website explains that professional association membership and qualifications elements will be included on the register "in time" and would require "further amendment to the principal regulations", indicating they may be a late addition. 

Addressing the AIOFP conference in Sydney recently, ASIC official Joanna Bird said the regulator is also firmly committed to the register, and expressed hope that the Senate’s FOFA decision did not have ramifications for the project’s progress.

“I hope it isn't in jeopardy because I think it has a real standalone benefit regardless of that,” Ms Bird said.

“We have not received any indication from the government that things have changed but as you appreciate, it's a fairly fluid environment.”