The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has welcomed the appointment of the new Labor Government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and says it is looking forward to effective collaboration on the pressing issues affecting the financial planning profession after the full ministry is sworn in next Wednesday.
Ms Abood also thanked Senator Jane Hume for her service as Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy with the Coalition government.
Whilst the counting of votes cast at the 2022 Federal Election continues, the crossbench in both the House of Representatives and the Senate appears to be taking on historical proportions. The FPA also commits to working collaboratively with all those successful at this election to shape outcomes in the best interests of our profession.
With the profession left in limbo over the election campaign period as we waited for certainty on education standards, FPA chief executive Sarah Abood said the FPA expected actions on this issue to be the first order of business for the incoming Minister for Financial Services.
“Congratulations to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Government on their appointment and we look forward to working with the new Minister for Financial Services on matters of vital importance to the financial planning profession,” Ms Abood said.
“We are expecting the new Government to quickly deliver on its election commitment to provide much-needed certainty to the profession on education standards, including providing for a framework to better recognise relevant experience.
“We have already had good engagement with Stephen Jones on this and other issues in the past and we look forward to working further with the Albanese Labor government,” said Ms Abood.
“We will continue to work with all stakeholders on policies and initiatives that contribute to affordable financial advice for all Australians and a sustainable financial planning profession for the future.”
The FPA has prioritised a number of issues for the 47th Australian Parliament to address, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) industry funding model and education standards, the creation of a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR), better regulation of ‘finfluencers’, and tax deductions for the provision of financial advice.
The FPA has cited the creation of a CSLR as a high priority, saying its design and implementation should ensure that consumers are covered for the full range of matters considered by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) including managed investment schemes, and that the Government bears the costs of the establishment and any legacy claims relating to the scheme.
The FPA says the administration costs of a CSLR should be closely monitored to ensure that cost recovery from industry primarily compensates consumers rather than covering bureaucracy and administration.
The FPA is also calling for sensible measures to improve the affordability and accessibility of financial advice, such as reducing regulatory complexity and duplication as well as providing Australians the ability to claim a tax deduction for the provision of financial advice, regardless of the stage in the advice process
In relation to Treasury’s review of ASIC’s industry funding model, the FPA says it should report its findings before the freeze on ASIC levies charged for personal advice to retail clients expires.
In addition, the FPA has called on regulators to take more action on ‘finfluencers’ to ensure that the law is equally applied to those offering personal financial advice, no matter what the platform.