Royal commission to disrupt ‘full impact’ of recent reforms, FPA says

A royal commission into the financial services industry would disrupt the process of key reforms and waste millions of taxpayer dollars, says the FPA.

In a statement, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said there have been significant changes to the financial advice sector, including the removal of conflicted remuneration, that are slowly transforming the industry.

It is important to allow time for the "full impact of these changes to be felt" before turning to a royal commission, he said.

"Australia's financial planning profession has undergone extensive inquiries and subsequent legislation over the years, which we've seen take place since the Ripoll Report was handed down in 2009. These have led to significant changes that solidify financial planning as a profession," Mr De Gori said.

"Together, these changes are leading to significant improvements in consumer outcomes. Many of these measures are less than three years old and are still in implementation phase."

Mr De Gori added that there are other key reforms on the horizon, including higher education standards, which a royal commission could disrupt.

"We have come a long way in setting strong foundations for a financial planning profession that will truly serve and protect the interests of Australian consumers in the next decade and beyond," he said.

"Not only would a Royal Commission put this on hold, but it would also mean that millions of tax payers' dollars would be wasted."

Mr De Gori's sentiments echoes those of the AFA, which said the money for a royal commission would be better spent on funding ASIC.

AFA chief executive Brad Fox said there have been numerous government inquiries into the industry that have shown where the biggest issues lie, including corporate culture and ethics.

"So let's concentrate on what we do to remedy them. There is considerable work going on at the moment to look at how ethics is taught and trained for financial advisers," he said.

"The money would be better spent on providing ASIC with greater resources to police the more than adequate rules we already have in place."

Meanwhile, more people are voicing support for a royal commission, including Macquarie University honorary fellow Pat McConnell.

In an opinion piece on The Conversation, Mr McConnell said CommInsure's creation of a claims review panel is an admission by CBA that problems exist. 

"By obstructing, obfuscating and bullying, the banks have ensured that a systems-wide inquiry into financial conduct can only be undertaken by a royal commission," he said.

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