FPA/AFA confident on FOFA consultation

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are confident that the industry has the ear of Treasury as the consultation around the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms resume.

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall said he was looking forward to the resumption of the consultation process as there were still issues of great concern to financial advisers, not least of which was the ‘opt in’ for continuing advice reform.

“Opt in is still a major concern and we’ll be talking through how we can deal with that,” he said, adding that other issues they would continue to discuss included the Cooper Review and its impact on corporate superannuation advisers, as well as the whole remuneration chain debate as it related to volume bonuses and the effect on licensees.

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AFA chief executive Richard Klipin was upbeat about the consultation process, adding that former Minister for Financial Services Chris Bowen implemented a “fair dinkum” consultation process and that Treasury has “been outstanding in the carriage” of its process.

“At a political level there has been genuine interest in understanding the industry and its nuances,” Klipin said.

“What we hear from the new Government and the new minister is a sense of a new political landscape and how that may impact the Government’s plans for the FOFA reforms. Clearly the political reality is that all legislation will have to not only be negotiated through the upper house but also through the lower house.”

Klipin said it was clear Labor had a different view to the Liberals.

“Which is why I think a lot of things are still in play and I guess that’s why Treasury’s process continues at this pace and the political process is obviously just bedding down,” he added.

Part of the FOFA reforms included the formation of an expert advisory panel that would consider professional standards. Treasury stated that no date has yet been set for the formation of that panel, however, Klipin and Rantall said they remained in close contact with Treasury and expected to be involved in discussions over the next few weeks.

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