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A Historic Day For Financial Planning in Australia

Sydney, 20 March 2013: The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed the government’s introduction of the legislation for enshrining the term “Financial Planner/ Adviser” into law today in Australia.

By Mark Rantall, CEO of FPA

This is a historic day for financial planning and for all Australians. The FPA has long called for ‘truth in labelling’ for the protection of consumers. The tabling of the legislation from the government responds to those calls. We welcome the introduction of the legislation and thank Minister Shorten for honouring his commitment.

Whilst FPA members hold some of the highest educational and ethical standards in the world, there are those who call themselves financial planners but do not have the required licensing and education to provide advice that is always in the consumers’ best interest. We expect this legislation to put a stop to those bad apples who have misled the Australian public and tarnished the profession by wrongly using this title.

If passed, this will be a great win for consumers and it strengthens the benefits of the FoFA reforms, in particular the introduction of Best Interest and the removal of conflicted remuneration. All three of these reforms should not be seen in isolation but as a whole effort by the Australian financial planning sector to turn the corner towards becoming a truly respected profession.

Membership of a professional body, like the FPA, provides additional safeguards to consumers in terms of the professional integrity and accountability of their financial planner. Though the tabled legislation is a significant step, the FPA will continue to advocate for membership of a professional body and/or an ASIC approved Code as the ultimate criteria for restricting the term “Financial Planner/Adviser.”

The term Financial Planner being enshrined in law is well deserved recognition of the important role financial planners play in the well being of consumers. What we do is in the National Interest and we are hopeful that legislators will recognise that by passing this law.

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