FPA hits back at ISA claims on adviser trust

Many ethical, well-qualified financial advisers risk becoming collateral damage in the after-effects of the Royal Commission if people continue to make ill-informed claims about the industry, according to Financial Planning Association (FPA) chief executive, Dante De Gori.

Responding to an Industry Super Australia (ISA) submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee which claimed that conflicted financial advice remained an egregious problem meaning that advisers could not always be trusted to deliver advice on post-retirement products, De Gori described such claims as “irresponsible at best, and libellous at worst”.

“The hard truth is that many ethical, well-qualified financial advisers risk becoming collateral damage in the after-effects of the Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Services if such ill-informed claims are left unchallenged,” he said. 

“I believe painting all financial advisers with the same dirty brush used to expose malpractice and unethical behaviour by some individuals and institutions is to the detriment of many truly good people, professionals, and our nation’s health and wellbeing.”

“So, on behalf of the 14,000+ professional financial advisers who work tirelessly and ethically as FPA members to fulfil their statutory obligation to act in their client’s best interests every day -- I say to my industry peers, and media, this is not the time for fear-mongering,” De Gori said. “Consumers need to know who they can trust with their money.  Unless you’re recommending we all stash our money under a mattress for a rainy day, it’s deeply irresponsible to scare anyone away from considering a qualified financial adviser in these unstable economic times.” 

The FPA chief executive said the Royal Commission had revealed an underbelly of malpractice and toxic corporate culture with often unconscionable disregard for human impact.

“We all heard how some people lost their homes, livelihoods, and retirement dreams due to some unethical advisers and outdated institutional practices,” he said. “My use of the adjective ‘some’ is intentional, and worth noting by ISA and anyone else who risks tarnishing an entire profession based on the abhorrent actions of some.” 

 “There’s an army of ethical, professional, good financial advisers out there ready and equipped to provide informed advice in their clients’ best interests. Not ‘some’, not even ‘many’, but ‘most’ financial advisers are qualified and ready to help people achieve their clients’ money and life goals.” 

De Gori has called on ISA to withdraw and correct the claim “that it should not be assumed that financial advisers can be trusted”. 

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About bloody time - just ten years late. Dante, one piece of advice, now you have started, don't stop - rip in.

Good god. Where the F#@K where these comments following the life insurance review, ASIC report499, Rippoll Inquiry, the disgraceful FASEA Code of Conduct draft docs, the Royal Commission and 15 years of slander by industry funds. The FPA chooses the eve of our profession's (potential) destruction by Hayne to speak out and defend our profession!!!! I'm speechless

But who gives the advice in ISA funds? Are they licensed advisers or do ISA funds have an exemption in providing advice to members? Do they charge fees for advice and is it on cost recovery or cross subsidised from member fees?

Well said Dante. And I agree you must continue to ensure the public understands that most financial planners are ethical, well-qualified and work tirelessly in the best interests of their clients. And I second your call that the ISA withdraw and correct the claim “that it should not be assumed that financial advisers can be trusted”. If they don’t we need to carry though with a libel claim.

Thanks Dante, but it's a bit late to be backing up your constituents that you have left to dry for the last few years. Damage is done and Associations were asleep at the wheel too busy selling memberships.

Agreed. Keep going

Trust and being able to rely - One thing about the ISN you can rely on the fact they will lie cheat and steal. They will lie about there performance and fees- they will lie about best interests duty - they will steal away a good opportunity to have your self properly organised - they dont do wholistic advice - ultimately they will cheat you out of any chance of making an informed decision. but hey what do I have to go on - Union past performance - at every opportunity they try to bring this country down for their own idealogical ends

When will industry fund executives be taken to task about their blatant and misleading and deceptive conduct?
A 'balanced' fund is not a portfolio with an allocation of 85% to growth assets. Furthermore, property and infrastructure asset classes are not 'defensive'. Why the Office of Fair Trading, ASIC, the FPA, the AFA and the financially literate media aren't taking them to task is utterly beyond me.

I couldn't agree more. Have a look at HostPlus's balanced option. It has a 90% allocation to growth assets!!! They even have the audacity to claim it is 75% by adding property and infrastructure into the defensive allocation! The ACCC are a disgrace for allowing this sort of behaviour to go on. This is the fund recommended by that barefoot book flogger. What a sick joke.


How about a "Compare the Pair" article with the sort of press coverage we need, showing the value of advice? How much would each of the "14,000+ professional financial advisers" be willing to chip in equally to be able to put out a strong message so as to save our industry and our livelihoods? 14,000 x $1,000 each = $14 million, which surely would get us far further than we have to now.

Managing your financial affairs with an industry fund, but without some form of ongoing advice is similar to only obtaining your health advice from Dr Google. A few grains of truth, but most medical practitioners would be horrified that you would put your health at risk in doing so. Financial health is no different. The ISA is reprobate.

Well said Dante, about time the FPA came out strong, let's hope you haven't left your run too late.

Thanks Dante, however the support and voice of the FPA should have come long ago! We are all sitting and getting our names and reputations dragged through the mud!

Start standing up more!! There are thousands of quality advisers that are willing to fight some of these ridiculous events happening in our industry!

Well said and about time you came out strongly, please more and agree that we should all chip in to counter Industry Fund advertising. We need some major brand enhancing so start spending some of that money the FPA has stashed away!

While a number of planners may find this abhorrent, the banks, retail funds and managed funds (who aren't swayed by ISA mandates) and FPA need to get behind a major 'politicised' advertising campaign pointing out the flaws in Labor's tax policies and stance on planner's worth and attacking the lies in ISA fund advertising.

Sometimes watering crap won't work, you need to fight fire with fire. The unions, ISA and Labor are clear on their agenda and are making a frontal assault; how much longer until you fight back?

The Libs are hopeless but for eff's sake they're better than what Labor will do - not a great choice but I would rather an unpleasant surgery than letting cancer run rampant.

Too late for advisers, too late for mortgage brokers, it is too late for AMP, it is too late for the libs, it is too late for industry associations, it will soon be too late for accountants and the legal system and many banks (NAB and ANZ down), socialist governments are coming this election cycle or the next and they will become entrenched for years to come with corporate power, a stolen superannuation system with higher mandated contributions, massive "infrastructure" super and debt fuelled spending, a surveillance state powered by AI and an alternate social justice "legal" system wrapped around common law like an octopus. You are 10+ years too late and your colleagues filled that time with egocentric in-fighting. The wild pigs have been caught.

I encourage you to speak directly to the FPA - try Dante or Ben Marshan who is head of policy. You will very quickly realise that the FPA is not capable of standing up for members (it seems to be more with community expectations and actually likes the idea of inter fund advice. There is no chance they will fight Industry Super. We seriously need representation right blood now and it is not the FPA. Please everyone call the FPA and then joint another ASAP.

GO JUMP... F off FPA. This Statement has been a paid presentation from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. A proud partner of the FPA and according to the FPA helping them guide the future of Advice in Australia.

Only a year ago the CBA was issuing similar statements about Planners and we heard ZIP. Outcome FASEA.

The problem with socialism is that you vote your way into into, but you have to shoot your way out of it. Check out Venezuela as a current day case study.

Very true Steve. The radical left is pushing very hard and gaining control. However, the consequence of that will be the rise of the radical right and then major conflict. It is best if each side agree that ideas are allowed to be put forward for the public to decide in an environment of free speech. Unfortunately, what we have now is a radical bunch of leftists who demonise white men, capitalism, Western culture and Christianity. Consumer is a perfect example. He is a self-appointed moral supremist who thinks he is right and therefore justified in vilifying anyone who does not support his view. In his leftist ideologically possessed mind his view is right and as a result Financial Advisers have no right to exist. I am sure if he had his way, he would establish a Gulag Archipelago to imprison financial advisers. You can infer that from the malevolence in his comments.

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