The Financial Planning Association of Australia has laid out the issues it would like the next Parliament to tackle, starting with prioritising the creation of the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR).
Beyond the CSLR, the FPA would like to see the next Parliament prioritise the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) industry funding model, further regulate finfluencers and provide tax deductions for the provision of financial advice.
FPA chief executive, Sarah Abood, said: “We look forward to working with parties and 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 cited the creation of a CSLR as a high priority, saying its design and implementation should ensure that consumers were covered for the full range of matters considered by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) including managed investment schemes, and that the Government should bear the costs of the establishment and any legacy claims relating to the scheme.
The FPA said the administration costs of a CSLR should be closely monitored to ensure that cost recovery from the industry would primarily compensate consumers rather than covering bureaucracy and administration.
Regarding reforms to education requirements for financial planners, Abood said the profession had been left in limbo.
“After a flurry of proposals and announcements over the Christmas/New Year break, financial planners who had not yet completed their education under the current requirements have been left uncertain as to what to do.
“While we certainly recommend continuing these studies under the precautionary principle, it’s a significant commitment for many We’re calling for both major parties to consult with the profession and clarify the detail as to how any changes to current education requirements would be finalised and implemented.”
The FPA was 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 said it should report its findings before the freeze on ASIC levies charged for personal advice to retail clients expires.
In addition, the FPA called on regulators to take more action on ‘finfluencers’ to ensure that Australians only acted on the advice of licensed, qualified and professional financial planners.