The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

FPA calls on Industry Super Network to finally come clean Sydney

Financial Planning Association (FPA) chief executive Mark Rantall said: “Enough is enough.”

“On behalf of our professional financial planner members and their clients who represent some $630 billion in investments and retirement savings in Australia, I call upon the ISN to desist from its latest deceptive and hypocritical claims in the best interests of all Australians – their own industry super members included.”

Mr Rantall was commenting on press advertising placed by the ISN that promotes a fallacious argument that “many retail fund members” are paying for financial advice services they do not receive via ongoing advice fees and commissions.

The advertisements promote up-front advice fees as an alternative – conveniently urging Australians towards industry super fund choices. It ignores the facts:

  • Many members of industry super funds who do not receive in-house financial advice are currently unwittingly cross-subsidizing the minority of those who do
  • Industry super fund members are subject to the very practices questioned by ISN of its retail counterparts – poor member disclosure, especially in regard to the cross subsidy of financial advice by the silent majority of fund members

“We are in the midst of a democratic political process to fundamentally reform an already world class regulatory regime under which financial planners operate in Australia. That process, called FOFA (Future of Financial Advice) should run its course without being derailed by veiled political messages dressed up as consumer advocacy – the likes of which we see perpetrated on working Australians by the ISN through this advertising campaign,” Mr Rantall said.

“It is telling in the extreme that the ISN sees fit to launch a fresh fear campaign on the retirement planning and savings of working Australians while conveniently ignoring the many faults in its own backyard.

The FPA:

  • Calls upon the ISN to come clean with all Australians about its real agenda – which is the elimination of competition and destruction of sound financial advice and financial security for Australians
  • Calls upon the ISN to come clean with its private “collateral damage” strategy in relation to killing off high quality financial planners delivering much-needed financial outcomes to their clients and communities every day around this nation
  • Calls upon the ISN to immediately desist from its disgraceful fear campaign of half-truths and hypocrisy, directed at wreaking maximum damage on all Australian super fund members, including members of industry funds.

For its part, the FPA has issued to its members a communique to reassure clients and communities about the facts:

1. The FPA Code of Practice demands that financial planners only receive professional fees for the delivery of professional services

2. The FPA has banned conflicted remuneration practices, including trailing commissions, together with strict and enforceable disclosure and transparency of fees

3. The FPA is working hard in the interests of all members and clients to ensure sensible FOFA reforms are created that build upon an existing world-class bedrock of sustainable, ethical and pragmatic consumer led professional standards.

“We have finally seen the true colours of the ISN. Given the timing of its latest fear mongering we know that it will stop at nothing to further its self-interested attempts to shut down competition, kill off financial planning services other than its own and extract maximum political advantage.

“Any submission made to the FOFA reform process by ISN must be discredited, and seen for what it is: politically motivated self-interest with scant disregard for working Australians,” Mr Rantall said.