FOFA regulatory changes facing disallowance

The Federal Government’s regulations changing the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) regime could be disallowed as early as Monday, following a successful opposition move to have the regulations tabled in the Senate yesterday. 

The regulations, announced by the Minister for Finance and Acting Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mathias Cormann, earlier month would see key elements of the of the FOFA legislation changed including the removal of opt-in, refinement of the best interest rules and grandfathering. 

If the Labor Opposition together with the Greens, independents and minor parties in the Senate succeed in disallowing the regulations, it will mean that the FOFA legislative regime imposed by former Financial Services Minister and now leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, will continue to apply. 

The Government is understood to have been in talks with cross-bench and Palmer United Party (PUP) Senators garnering support for the regulatory changes, but PUP leader, Clive Palmer declared last weekend that he was opposed to the changes. 

The cross-bench and PUPL senators are understood to have also been lobbied by the Financial Services Council and the major financial planning groups, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). 

Cormann has argued that the Government has never sought to hide from Senate debate around its FOFA changes, but that because it is highly technical and has been the subject of a deliberate misinformation campaign, it needs precise explanation to new Senators. 

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