Will planners gain voice in advising Government?

17 November 2015

The Federal Government has declared it will reconstitute the Financial Sector Advisory Council (FSAC) to give the financial services a voice in advising the Government on the performance of the financial services regulators — the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The Government's intention has been outlined by Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer, who said the reconstituted Advisory Council would include new members — something which would be vital given that it was fully functional in 2010 and many of its members such as former National Australia Bank chief executive, Cameron Clyne, have now left the industry.

The FSAC was first established by the Howard Government in 1998 and resulted from the Financial Systems Inquiry and O'Dwyer made clear to a Financial Services Council (FSC) event on Monday that the Government believed it was vital to ensuring the ASIC and APRA had appropriate capabilities and funding.

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She nominated the reconstituting of the FSAC in the context of including consideration of competition factors within the remit of ASIC and the requirement for both financial services regulators to be accountable for the outcomes they achieve, including delivering more comprehensive annual reports.

The FSAC, when last constituted, represented a substantial slice of the big end of town with funds management and banking chief executives dominating, with two superannuation fund chief executives, including Australian Super chief executive, Ian Silk, and one credit unions representative but with no representation from the financial planning or accounting sectors.

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It is vital that the planning industry has a voice at the table. Too many participants from the big end of town have massive amounts of $$$ and are able to lobby both directly & indirectly and unduly influence policy outcomes

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