The Australian Bankers' Association, FPA and AFA have announced their support for the professional standards and life insurance bills, saying they are positive for the industry.
Following the passing of the bills in Parliament yesterday, ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg said the education reform will be important to raise the professionalism of financial advice.
“We look forward to getting on with implementing the reforms, and working with the government on establishing the new education and ethical standards,” he said.
Mr Münchenberg said banks had already taken steps to ensure their financial advisers adhere to high professional standards.
“A new industry-wide hiring protocol is being implemented so banks can find out a lot more about a financial adviser’s previous conduct history before employing them. This will better identify financial advisers who have not met the industry’s minimum legal and ethical standards,” he said.
The FPA said the passing of the bills provide clarity to financial advisers as well as consumers.
“Our members have expressed uncertainty when recommending life insurance solutions to their clients, in light of the information vacuum on life insurance since May,” said Ben Marshan, FPA’s head of policy and government relations.
FPA chief executive Dante De Gori added, “The passing of the bill is welcomed as it provides financial planners with more clarity and certainty about the future, and what may be expected of them.”
AFA chief executive Brad Fox said the final bill included important amendments, such as the direct carve-out removal, a delayed start date, uniform grandfathering for existing clients and greater fairness in clawback rules.
“We were able to explain to government the impact of LIF legislation on small business advisers and this is what we believe helped us achieve improved financial outcomes when compared to the recommendations put forward by the FSI and the FSC,” he said.
“The government listened to adviser concerns.”
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