FoFA passes through Senate
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) welcomes the clarity provided through the passing of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms by the Senate today.
Effective as law from 01 July 2012, FoFA compliance will become mandatory for financial planners and licensees from 1 July 2013, following a 12-month transition period.
While the FPA continues to oppose FoFA’s Opt-In and additional fee disclosure provisions for existing clients, it believes that the final shape of the legislation delivers a sensible outcome for Australia’s professional financial planners and their clients.
According to FPA CEO, Mark Rantall:
“Although there is still detail to be worked through in terms of regulatory guidance and not all of our amendments were adopted , the FPA welcomes the passing of the reforms as it allows the industry to move forward and get on with implementing changes with greater clarity. The FPA and our members have continued to support the intent of the reforms – to increase the access to, and transparency of, the financial advice provided to for all Australians.
“We also welcome the Minister’s urgency in supporting the measure to protect the term ‘financial planner’. The legislation to limit the use of this term to those with the right qualifications will ensure higher standards are set for financial planners and provide further confidence for Australians seeking financial advice from a trusted professional.”
The FoFA reforms 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 ultimately considered a FoFA bill that was heavily amended from the original, including changes that removed or modified onerous aspects of the tabled Bill.
Mr Rantall acknowledged the Government, the Opposition and the Independents for their open collaboration, hard work and contribution to the passing of these reforms in their final shape.
“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.”
Regulations and ASIC guidance on how financial planners are to comply with FoFA will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months. The FPA will continue to communicate with members, provide useful resources such as the Members Only Fee-for-Service Toolkit and run practical educational workshops to help them implement FoFA in their businesses.