The language surrounding the launches of CPA Advice and Integral Private Wealth in recent weeks has been “unhelpful” to the industry’s reputation, says former FPA chair John Hewison.
In comments provided to ifa, the FPA figure and Hewison Private Wealth founder accused the new entrants to the “independent” advice market of “taking advantage of the current hyper-sensitive environment to further their own interests”.
Turning first to CPA’s much-publicised announcement of an independent advice venture, Mr Hewison took umbrage, given the accounting body’s previous opposition to higher ethical and education standards during the debates around APES 230.
“If CPA Australia had supported the original higher standards proposed in 2014, we would already have all professional accountants providing non-conflicted advice,” he said.
“However, it chose to side with the same institutions they’re now criticising, meaning for it to come charging out at the expense of others is self-serving and ignores the truth of recent history.”
Second, Mr Hewison criticised the launch of Integral – a Securitor practice established by Westpac adviser David Simon – for its claim that it will provide an “independent focus” for clients despite its being bank-aligned and physically located in the bank’s CBD headquarters.
“Integral Private Wealth is another example of a firm founded by an institutional stalwart who recognises that consumers are now more suspicious of the vertically integrated,” Mr Hewison argued.
“Financial advisers employed by those institutions are seeing the future of financial advice as independent.”
A number of commenters on the ifa website have suggested Integral may be in breach of Section 923A of the Corporations Act by claiming to have an “independent” focus.
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