Streamlining financial advice industry regulation gets tick of approval

The SMSF Association is putting its weight behind the Government’s decision to streamline the number of regulators for the financial advice industry.

Under the proposal, Treasury will oversee the education, training, and ethical standards for the provision of financial advice while ASIC will be responsible for disciplinary action and administering the exams for entry to the profession.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “This is a welcome initiative, with ASIC having the expertise to adjudicate on professional misconduct and Treasury having the appropriate standard-setting skills.

“The Association has long held the position that financial advice industry regulation needs to be streamlined to reduce unnecessary complexity and this reform meets this objective.

“The current regime sees advisers having duplicate obligations, multiple regulators, and multiple standards that result in unnecessary complexity and cost. This is forcing many professional financial advisers to question whether they should continue to provide advisory services at a time when consumer need for financial advice has never been greater.”

Maroney acknowledges the work done by FASEA in improving the education, training and ethical standards in the financial advice sector, but says streamlining the number of bodies involved in the oversight of financial advisers is absolutely necessary to reduce complexity and cost for advisers.

“We see this initiative as further strengthening the oversight of financial advisers while at the same time simplifying the regulatory framework governing the provision of financial advice.”

The SMSF Association will continue to work with Government and other stakeholders on how an improved consumer financial advice framework will be developed in addition to the single disciplinary body within ASIC.