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Frydenberg consults on adviser standards

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has met with representatives of the financial services industry associations to discuss lifting the professional standards of financial advisers.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Frydenberg announced he had hosted a roundtable with the peak industry bodies, consumer groups, academics and ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft to discuss the lifting of professional standards.

Joining the assistant treasurer were members of the AFA, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, AIST, Choice, the FPA, the FSC, Industry Super Australia and the SMSF Association.

“We discussed the bipartisan model proposed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC), to lift the professional, ethical and education standards of financial advisers,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“All participants were unanimous in the view that we need to lift industry standards.

“There was strong agreement that the focus of reform should be on the consumer, and that rebuilding consumer confidence in the financial advice industry is paramount,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg said he was “especially pleased” to see the level of consensus that is building around elements of the PJC model and how the models could be adapted to work best in practice.

“Participants also emphasised the importance of: sensible transitional mechanisms; robust governance; sustainable funding; and achieving enduring reform,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“I thank all participants for the goodwill and insightful feedback they brought to the table, and for the commitment they continue to display to this process of reform.

“Submissions on the PJC model close 7 May 2015, with consultation to continue until the end of June.”

“I look forward to continuing the constructive conversation that we started today with more stakeholders over the coming months,” he said.