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

FPA welcomes launch of ASIC’s adviser register

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) welcomes the launch of ASIC’s adviser register today, agreeing with the view that it is a step in the right direction for the industry and that it will serve to better protect consumers.

According to Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA, the register, which is consumer-friendly and accessible via ASIC’s Money Smart site, will enable consumers to easily identify all licensed financial planners who have an agreed set of credentials.

“For the first time we will have a list of all financial advisers in the country including representatives such as employed financial planners. More importantly however, we have a list of of details that will help consumers to vet advisers and choose the right person to guide them with professional financial advice.

“The information contained in the register includes work/employment history so consumers can see where the adviser has been and how many employers/licensees they have worked for. It also includes any bannings and disciplinary records that the adviser has had. And from May, you will be able to see what sort of qualifications, training and professional membership the advisers hold.

“All of this essentially provides consumers with the ability to make a more well-rounded decision. We firmly believe that when you go to a financial planner you have the right to know you can trust the person you choose. This register is a big step in the right direction.

“At an industry level, the register will also help weed out bad apples and provide protection for licensees and employers.

Mr Rantall said while ASIC’s register was the most robust and consumer friendly tool currently available, it would need to be supported by the implementation of the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) Inquiry recommendations in order to truly deliver on industry reform.

“The adviser register is one piece of the reform puzzle. The PJC recommendations are also going to be key to ensure that the profession continues to improve in terms of financial planner education, professional standards and ethics.

“We will continue to work with the government and industry to ensure that we continue to show consumers we are serious about lifting advice standards in the industry; we’re committed to providing trusted and quality advice; that we understand the importance of higher education and ethical standards.”