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Financial Planning, Regulation

FPA calls for further adviser rego changes

FPA financial registration

The FPA has welcomed the government’s proposal for a single disciplinary body, but has called for improvements to financial planner registration.

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed the federal government’s proposal to establish a single disciplinary body for financial planners, but is pushing for the refinement of the adviser registration process.

The proposed move to a single disciplinary body would include removing the duplicate professional standards applied by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), but would require advisers to be registered via their licensee.

FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said while the draft bill is positive, it does not reflect the government’s intention of creating a single set of professional standards for financial planners or a single regulatory regime.

“A financial planner’s registration should then follow them throughout their career and be a valued symbol of their professional status and commitment to uphold professional values,” De Gori said.

“The creation of a personal obligation to register is an essential component of any professional framework.

“It’s the missing piece to the puzzle. Similar to the legal, medical or architectural professions, the FPA strongly supports a model in which registration is the personal responsibility of each financial planner and is not connected with their employment or authorisation under an AFSL (Australian financial services licence).

“A true professional registration will have flow-on benefits for consumers as it will improve the quality of the information on the Financial Adviser Register and ensure anyone can easily check the qualifications, registration status and disciplinary record of their financial planner.”

The association added that a professional registration should demonstrate that an individual has met professional requirements and is therefore ready to serve their clients.

To address this, it suggested the draft bill remove the requirements for licensees and corporate authorised representative to register with the TPB, in the same way advisers will no longer have to be registered with that body.

“The FPA has long advocated for the need for reform to reduce duplication and rising costs facing financial planners. We welcome the recognition of this in the draft legislation, with the proposal to wind up FASEA (Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority) and removing the redundant oversight of the TPB being important steps in achieving this goal,” it said.

“However, it is crucial we get this right and ensure the success of the proposed model. Our key recommendation for this draft model is to create a true professional registration which is a personal requirement for all financial planners.”

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