The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has “broadly” welcomed the Financial Services Council (FSC’s) white paper and its goal to reduce the cost of providing advice.
The FSC released its ‘White Paper on Financial Advice’ earlier this week, which offered a blueprint to reducing the cost of advice by 37%.
Dante De Gori, FPA chief executive, said the white paper closely aligned with the FPA’s five-year ‘Affordable advice, sustainable profession’ policy-platform roadmap.
“The FPA broadly welcomes the release of the FSC’s white paper and its goal to reduce the cost of providing financial advice, allowing financial planners to spend more time with new and existing clients,” De Gori said.
“We thank the FSC for engaging with the FPA through their green paper process and picking up many of the same themes and recommendations that the FPA made 18 months ago.
“Further, we commend the FSC on listening to the concerns of the FPA in relation to a number of their proposals which would have added substantial cost and complexity to the delivery of affordable advice to Australian consumers.”
De Gori said the white paper demonstrated the FSC’s commitment to collaborating on the discussion putting advice delivery back in the hands of professional financial planners and in the reach of all Australian consumers.
“The financial planning profession will now benefit from a stronger and unified representative voice on the issues most critical to them,” De Gori said.
“With the Government’s intention to introduce a single set of standards for the financial planning profession, we believe now is also the time to prioritise the establishment of a principles-based professional and ethical advice model, as opposed to the current ‘tick-a-box’ rules based approach to compliance under the existing regulatory framework.”
De Gori said the next step to ensure the success of the proposed single disciplinary model and a principles-based professional advice model was to create a true professional registration model, which the FPA recommended in its platform.
“The creation of a personal obligation to register is an essential component of any professional framework and this is essential to achieving the outcomes the FPA and FSC have recommended in our respective policy visions,” De Gori said.
“The FPA looks forward to continuing discussions with the Government and regulators to identify opportunities to continue to build a thriving profession.
“As part of FPA’s ongoing advocacy efforts, progress has already been made on a number of fronts including the single disciplinary body, single registration, single set of fees, single set of professional standards, professional registration, access to data, tax deductibility of advice fees, insurance advice fees and more.”