Calls for ASIC to reform media policy

Calls for ASIC to reform media policy

The grieving family of a former AFA national president is pleading with the corporate regulator to amend its media release policy on banned advisers.  

The family of Paul Brannelly, who was national president of the AFA in 1973 and died earlier this month, is calling on ASIC to cease its practice of keeping banning notices on its website indefinitely, arguing the policy may be in breach of human rights obligations. 

In February 2009, Mr Brannelly was banned temporarily from the industry for a period of six years for advice relating to the Westpoint Group scandal. 

However, despite the fact that the two advisers have both completed their ban periods, the regulator continues to keep the banning notice live on its website – a practice the family says is unfairly tarnishing the reputation of an industry veteran. 

The AIOFP has joined the effort to seek reform of ASIC’s media policy, arguing that advisers are too often blamed for product failures created by fund managers such as Westpoint.

A letter from AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston to parliamentarians, seen by ifa, pledges support for the Brannelly family in protecting their father’s memory.

“We agree that humans deserve a second chance in life, to a have relatively minor breach in the financial services industry be maintained publicly for life is abhorrent and a breach of basic human rights,” Mr Johnston wrote.  

“This pattern of behaviour where advisers are getting blamed for ‘all and sundry’ in the industry must be changed if the politicians are serious about consumer protection. 

“The Brannelly case was principally about product failure and the real perpetrators of the failure escaping accountability.”

Mr Branelly was well-known in the financial advice industry and Brisbane community, and was a celebrated athlete in his early years. More than 200 people attended his funeral last week. 

Calls for ASIC to reform media policy
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