FPA lays out priorities for next Parliament

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”.

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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. 

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If the FPA actually represented their members the number one priority would be fixing the over regulation of the industry, not CSLR or how to create more regulation to target finfluencers. All efforts need to be put in to fix this mess which they blindly sat around and let happen in the first place. Has there ever been a more incompetent body then the FPA?

I agree. Why do they waste their time on side issues like the tax deductibility of advice? It will never happen, and besides, probably 80%+ of all advice fees charged in this country are already tax deductible as they relate to ongoing advice.

Imagine if the government suddenly granted the tax deductibility and eliminated finfluencers - what then? A surge in demand - which we cannot satisfy as we are already over-run with red-tape and advisers are fleeing the profession on a daily basis.

Whoever runs the agenda at the FPA has no idea and let's be honest, their incompetency, misguided priorities and lack of focus is one of the main reasons why we have ended up in this place.

The FPA says it works for consumers too, but no consumers pay membership fees , so why do advisers subsidise this work for consumers? Totally crazy to support such a conflicted association. You cant work for us and the public too, it may make them feel good but its at cross purposes. Its wasting money and resources when really all they should be is a lobby group. We would be better off just employing a lobby group to work for us directly and cut all this other time wasting crap out. The CEO pulls out what 400K a year, thats a lot of lobbying that could be paid for.

actually, a professional association can and should work for the public interest first and foremost. that's their main goal, not just to be an advocate for the "professionals" in their membership (which it also is), but the number 1 priority for a professional association should always be to work in the public interest first and foremost. this engenders trust in the "profession" and the members of the professional body, from which we all professionals benefit.

most member associations (see my post about CA ANZ ) actually do not understand that sometimes taking a stand on an issue that is in the best interest of the public may not necessarily be in the best interest of some or all of their members.

perhaps you be better writing to fpa. did you write to fpa after royal commission fiasco..... what you do CFP... when fellow members of the professional partner program lie to ASIC 22 times...what you do..., charge fee for no service..what you do CFP...still the fpa never impose sanctions on them. what you do? How's my attempt also at broken Chinese Australian just for you.... ok? your licensee owned by product manufacturer pay your member fees too? You answer those questions than give me lesson on professionalism.

So how are the concerns of the public going here Janice? Lets see - FPA Supports Intra Fund Advice - so charging members a fee for advice a member may never receive is supported by the FPA - not to mention any conflicts that might arise when an employee of a Product Manufacturer delivers Advice.

Profession you say - what is so professional about Financial Advice is the FPA supports Personal Advice (which I believe Intra Fund is) being delivered by people who are not required to have Financial Planning qualifications?

FPA talks the talk on professionalism but they don't walk the walk. Janice is quite right about the role of a professional association. And it's nice that the FPA aspires to be one. But they are still a long way off. The FPA needs to focus on getting their own house in order first.

Accepting bulk memberships from conflicted product providers who use a fee for no service (aka "intrafund") advice model is just one example of the FPA's failure to act like a professional association. Sadly, there are also many others.

It might be more worthwhile to "rent a crowd" instead. :P

Put the CFP marketing budget towards a team of lawyers.

The issue for the FPA is not the conflict between Advisers and the Public. The issue is the conflict that is generated when they attempt to advocate for the entire industry being Advisers, large product manufactures such as AwareSuper, etc and the public. Too many competing interests that have resolved adverse conflicts, bad regulation and red tape.

yes, there is CA ANZ. people cheat on an ethics exam, takes the regulating professional body 18 months to even look into it and then no punishment.

see https://www.afr.com/companies/professional-services/chartered-accountant...

Spot on...Perhaps equally a pretty poor reflection of members actually.

I've been with this mob now for decades and have yet to see any sort of support for the adviser on the ground. Dante was a disgrace and he knows it. Call me a fatal optimist, but I still give them feedback in the hope that one day they'll truly represent their members like the associations that represent mortgage brokers, accountants, lawyers, etc.

No doubt you're still clinging on to that grandfathered CFP you know you don't deserve too. A grandfathered CFP is usually the common element among those FPA members who complain most about how hopeless the FPA is and how worthless the CFP is, but never actually leave.

Your point is taken, it is a grandfathered CFP based on completing the 8 topic DFP back in 2002. I keep it as a legacy with the FPA login and I guess something that's just hung around. I've taken it off the FAR when I ran out of space, so hopefully that will alleviate some of your criticism. I think the frustration comes out of all the constructive efforts put in over many years being basically ignored and decades of experience being ignored that could have been used to make this current crisis less destructive.

OR... if you have completed a financial planning Grad Dip since (which one assumes you will need for FASEA anyway) you will get exemption for CFP 1-4 and would only need to pass the CFP Certification unit to become a real CFP.

I say "only" but be warned the CFP Certification unit is harder than any Uni subject. That's the whole point.

Grad Dip plus Masters done. The grandfathering was a moment in time and as many such things may have seemed like a good idea at the time but does not pass the pub test 20 years later. I would accept dropping the CFP out of respect for people who went through the education if required. I don't know if I can face another exam. How would I feel if they gave out Grad Dips and Masters without the education pathway? Probably pretty dark, just as I'm dark with both parties watering down the standards we busted a gut to get through. There are no winners here.

Have you actually consider writing to the FPA Professional Standards Board overseas asking them to review the distribution right of the CFP brand in Australia? Could the solution be to separate those that sat an exam by removing the FPA from holding those licensing rights. Perhaps the issue is that the objectives of the FPA, no longer marry up and align with the higher standards expected by CFP holders and some FPA members?

Good idea Old Bob. The FPA has tarnished the CFP brand through its disgraceful "grandfathering" scam. The international owners of that brand should insist the FPA rescinds the "grandfathers", and remove CFP licensing rights from them if they don't.

We'll agree on Dante's efforts....After decades also of trying to get the FPA to change I feel being a member of the FPA is now a a sad reflection on the individual. Why do they continue to allow the FPA to rip them off like this? Many continue to pay fees just for three little letters.

It's habit and that's sad in itself.

Every thing the FPA touches turns to @$% .The only thing for certain now is Advice won't be Tax deductible, Fin influence will continue untouched, and I'll be factoring in additional costs associated with CSLR. Paying $1,000 a year was worth that inside knowledge, but it's not now. Really don't understand why the FPA has this mantra of trying to look after the needs all sectors in the Financial Planning industry, surely AwareSuper et al, can look after themselves.

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