The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed recommendations from the Financial Services Council (FSC) to reduce the cost and simplify the provision of advice, noting they are consistent with its own reform plan.
In welcoming the release of the FSC’s white paper, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said it closely aligned with the association’s five-year policy-platform roadmap released in June 2020.
De Gori said the roadmap aimed to cut red tape and the duplication of regulations in the financial advice sector so as to reduce the cost of advice for consumers, and he thanked the FSC for focusing on the same issues and outcomes for advice the FPA identified last year.
“Further, we commend the FSC on listening to the concerns of the FPA in relation to a number of their proposals which would have added substantial cost and complexity to the delivery of affordable advice to Australian consumers,” he said.
“The release of this white paper has demonstrated the FSC’s commitment to joining with us in the discussion of how to put advice delivery back in the hands of professional financial planners and in the reach of all Australian consumers.”
He said the commonality between the roadmap and white paper meant the advice sector would benefit from a stronger and unified voice on key issues and reiterated the FPA’s call for a shift in the compliance regime applied to advice, which was also present in the FSC white paper.
“With the government’s intention to introduce a single set of standards for the financial planning profession, we believe now is also the time to prioritise the establishment of a principles-based professional and ethical advice model as opposed to the current ‘tick-a-box’ rules-based approach to compliance under the existing regulatory framework,” he said.
“With these measures in place, the next crucial step to get right and ensure the success of the proposed single disciplinary model and a principles-based professional advice model is to create a true professional registration model, which is a key recommendation from the FPA’s policy platform.
“The creation of a personal obligation to register is an essential component of any professional framework and this is essential to achieving the outcomes the FPA and FSC have recommended in our respective policy visions.”