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

FPA: Enshrinement of “Financial Planner”, historic day for Australians

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed the government’s introduction of the legislation for enshrining the term “Financial Planner/ Adviser” into law today in Australia.

Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA said:

“This is a historic day for financial planning and for all Australians. The FPA has long called for ‘truth in labelling’ for the protection of consumers. The tabling of the legislation from the government responds to those calls. We welcome the introduction of the legislation and thank Minister Shorten for honouring his commitment.”

The FPA has led the pathway to professionalism in the financial planning industry and the protection of all Australians. In April 2011, the FPA called on the government to restrict the term “Financial Planner” under law. The legislation follows extensive consultation with the financial planning industry and acknowledges the protection and certainty this will provide to the Australian public seeking financial advice.

Previously, under the Corporations Act 2001, there was no constraint on individuals calling themselves “Financial Planners” irrespective of their training, competence, and even licensing. The new legislation states that only those fully licensed and authorised to provide personal financial advice can now call themselves a financial planner / adviser.

“Whilst FPA members hold some of the highest educational and ethical standards in the world, there are those who call themselves financial planners but do not have the required licensing and education to provide advice that is always in the consumers’ best interest. We expect this legislation to put a stop to those bad apples who have misled the Australian public and tarnished the profession by wrongly using this title.”

Rantall highlighted that this legislation, alongside other FoFA reforms, will bring greater consumer protection.

“If passed, this will be a great win for consumers and it strengthens the benefits of the FoFA reforms, in particular the introduction of Best Interest and the removal of conflicted remuneration. All three of these reforms should not be seen in isolation but as a whole effort by the Australian financial planning sector to turn the corner towards becoming a truly respected profession.”

“Membership of a professional body, like the FPA, provides additional safeguards to consumers in terms of the professional integrity and accountability of their financial planner. Though the tabled legislation is a significant step, the FPA will continue to advocate for membership of a professional body and/or an ASIC approved Code as the ultimate criteria for restricting the term “Financial Planner/Adviser,” said Rantall.

The legislation will now run its formal parliamentary processes and the FPA will be working with all sides of to ensure its passage through government.

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