Financial advice legislation an important step in the right direction

23 November 2016

 

The SMSF Association welcomes today’s introduction by the Government of its legislation to lift the education and ethical standards of financial advisors.

“This legislation is a critical step in lifting the education and professional standards of the financial advice sector which will result in improved outcomes for consumers of financial advice” said Andrea Slattery, Managing Director/CEO of the SMSF Association.

“Our Association has long advocated for increased education standards in financial advice, believing that they are key to developing a respected financial advice profession and ensuring that consumers can trust the advice they receive.

“We have supported the process of reforming financial advice standards through recent years and are pleased to see its culmination in today’s introduction of the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Bill 2016,” she said.

Slattery said that the new legislation establishes a framework that will raise the educational and ethical standards through a co-regulatory approach, which will allow the industry to take responsibility for its professionalism.

“We look forward to working closely with the new industry standards setting body created by today’s legislation. A key priority will be to ensure that the new education standards recognise the importance of specialist advice areas, such as SMSF advice.

“This is especially important as approximately 1.1 million Australians have $636 billion in retirement savings invested through the SMSF sector and often depend on their advisor to assist them achieve their retirement goals.

Slattery also welcomed the generous transitional timeframes for existing advisors to meet the new education requirements.

“However, it is important to stress that advisors should not sit back and wait for the Government’s deadlines to undertake further education to improve their competencies. It is each advisor’s own professional duty to keep improving their knowledge and qualifications to deliver high quality advice to their clients.”