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New reports to stir financial planning perfect storm

New reports to stir financial planning perfect storm
New information about the sales-driven culture inside the Commonwealth Bank's financial planning unit has prompted the Financial Planning Association (FPA) to leap to advisers' defense.

Tonight's airing of 'Banking Bad' on the ABC's Four Corners program is set to stir the debate around the professional standards of advisers, which has been questioned recently by the polemic changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) law and by the Senate inquiry to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The program is expected to unveil the practices of rogue financial advisers within Commonwealth Bank planning arm, following a joint investigation from Fairfax and the ABC.

"Our members who are doing the right thing are clearly disappointed when we have negative reporting of one financial planner in the media," the Financial Planning Association (FPA) chief executive Mark Rantall told Financial Standard.

Rantall said that financial planning will continue to be in the front pages of the newspapers unless the government enshrines the terms financial planner and financial adviser in law.

"Statistics highlight that legislators are being behind when it comes to financial planning becoming a respected profession," Rantall said, and argued that only six of the 86 financial planners banned by ASIC in the past five years held the Certified Financial Planner designation.

Commonwealth Bank and ASIC also reacted to the broadcasting of the program before it airs tonight.

"We acknowledge we should have identified the problems earlier, and we should have acted more quickly once issues were found," CBA said in a statement.

"We have significantly transformed our business as a result of these events," the bank continued.

ASIC chose to upload a video on YouTube, where its deputy chairman Peter Kell gave some background information on the CBA scandal and defended the way ASIC dealt with it.

He admitted that the regulator should have acted faster, should have been more transparent and should have better communicated with the whistleblowers.

The Senate Economics Committee will report the conclusions of the inquiry to ASIC by the end of May.

The inquiry looked into ASIC's performance when dealing with allegations of poor advice, document forgery and fraud within Commonwealth Bank's financial planning unit.

Author : Laura Millan
Source: Financial Standard


Last modified onMonday, 05 May 2014 21:46

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