Business News

SMSFA gives draft legislation a tick

The SMSF Association has endorsed the federal government’s draft legislation to raise financial adviser professional standards, describing it as an important step in enabling quality financial advice to be delivered and building consumer trust in the industry.

SMSF Association chief executive Andrea Slattery said the industry body was in favour of the proposed legislation, which would help lift the professional standards of financial planners.

“Raising the educational standard for financial advisers is critical to ensure consumers get the quality of advice they have the right to expect and to grow a financial advice industry that has trust as a core building block,” Slattery said.

“It’s also imperative that all financial advisers operate under a code of ethics as a way of increasing the professionalism of financial advice.”

She added the association had consistently supported recommendations made by the Financial System Inquiry and Parliamentary Joint Committee reports to improve the standards of financial advice and ethics.

Under the draft legislation, new financial advisers will need to obtain a degree and undertake one professional year, while existing advisers will be provided with a pathway to complete an appropriate degree equivalent.

All financial advisers, new and existing, will be required to adhere to a code of ethics and undertake continuing professional development.

Slattery said the SMSF Association would bring its expertise to all discussions about the draft legislation, having already played an integral role in the introduction of an SMSF profession.

“We look forward to continue working with the government and fellow professional and industry bodies to implement the reforms, including developing educational and ethical standards, as well as ensuring that there are appropriate transitional arrangements to cater for existing advisers,” she said.

The legislation is scheduled to be introduced in February and passed by June 2016.

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