The Australian Shareholders Association has called on the federal government to halt any watering down of financial planning rules until the financial services inquiry concludes at year's end.
Labor and the Greens, which hold the balance of power in the Senate until July, oppose roll-back of the Future of Financial Advice laws. It is not yet clear whether the new Senate would support the changes. But with the government set to introduce changes via regulation, and Labor and the Greens likely to fight them, the ASA has argued changes would benefit the industry at the expense of clients.
The Coalition proposes to change statutory requirements that financial planners act in clients' best interests, and permit commissions for certain products, for one-off rather than holistic advice.
The changes - which the government says would save $190 million a year - also mean planners would no longer need to get their clients to re-sign every two years, or tell clients about annual commissions.
But ASA chairman Ian Curry said that ''most people in managed funds etcetera have virtually no contact with their adviser. And if a person has been well served by an adviser, you'd easily agree to opt-in every two years.''Author: Madeleine HeffernanSource: The Age
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