FPA welcomes FoFA concessions delivering sensible reform for the financial planning profession and consumers
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) welcomes the concessions provided in the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms passed by Parliament today. They signal a new chapter in the security and protection of the financial well-being of Australians and facilitate the FPA‟s mission to help financial planning evolve into a universally respected profession.
Parliament considered a heavily amended FoFA Bill, which included amendments to remove or modify onerous aspects of the tabled Bill. Though the FPA remains opposed to Opt-In and the additional fee disclosure for existing clients, the final shape of the FoFA legislation delivers a sensible outcome for Australia‟s professional financial planners and their clients.
FPA Chief Executive Mark Rantall said the final FoFA legislation ratifies a hard line drawn early by the FPA. “That line fundamentally promotes those who act as respected financial planning professionals united through collective membership of their professional body and upholding a common code of professional conduct,” he said.
“If we are to look forward to a vibrant future, financial planning must evolve into a recognised profession.The amendments to the FoFA reforms help to expedite that journey which the FPA started more than 12 months ago.”
Throughout the reform process, the FPA has firmly advocated on behalf of Australia’s professional financial planners. Rantall said, “We have fought hard for our members from the first hurdle to the last. We hope they will see that the end result is what counts. For FPA members, the formal Opt-in process may not apply and they may not be subject to that law at all. Our members are also in the best possible position to be captured under the restricted definition of the term “financial planner” which will be tabled in Parliament next year. There are no other groups or bodies that can claim these concessions for their members.”
Rantall has acknowledged the Government, the Opposition and the Independents for their open collaboration, hard work and contribution to the final shape of these reforms. He said, “We now have the opportunity to fast track a fundamental realignment of financial planning in this country, driven by a clear resolve to place the interests of Australian consumers first and having financial planning recognised as a profession.”
The Senate now needs to pass the FoFA Bill and the FPA looks forward to helping its members’ transition to the new FoFA environment, which is due to commence 1 July 2013.