While there are still concerns within the AFA and the adviser community that the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms, recently passed through Parliament, fail to meet their stated objective of improving consumer protection and confidence, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) believes it is now time to put the divisions and self-interest to rest and move forward.
Our focus is now on getting the best outcome with the regulations and regulatory guides and assisting our members to implement the FoFA changes.
CEO, Richard Klipin, believes that “all sectors of the industry need to now work together to achieve professional standing in the wider community and implement the reforms efficiently and effectively.
“The role of the AFA to “Lead, Support and Inspire” its members was our focus during the three year FoFA debate and we will continue to take the lead during this period of transition.
“The debate was long and intense and, with the legislation passing, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on what was achieved and ask – Was it worth the effort?
“There were many positive outcomes, some of those we see as most significant were:
- Extension of an annual Opt-in to biannual, with a potential option that will enable some advisers to avoid Opt-In if they agree to an ASIC approved code of conduct
- Remuneration choice for Insurance in and outside of Super (excluding group plans)
- A commitment to enshrining the term(s) Financial Adviser/Financial Planner in law
- “Softening” of the annual Fee Disclosure Statement requirements
- The ISN agenda driving FoFA was exposed.
During the debate, the AFA was heavily engaged with politicians, regulators, Treasury, the media, the market and all relevant committees, ensuring our members’ voices were heard.
The AFA never wavered in its commitment to support its members. We also never wavered from supporting small business financial advisers and will continue to do so during the coming transition period.”
Mr Klipin went on to say that “while the FoFA reforms are now dependent upon the regulations and will soon be with ASIC to implement, the AFA is working towards providing clarity to our members as a priority through upcoming member packs and the National Road Show.”
One of the most significant outcomes from the FoFA debate has been the mobilisation of advisers to become politically active and individually engage with their MPs. This has raised the understanding of what it is they do, and the importance of their role to the community, to a whole new level.
“This was a true grass roots movement “, said Mr Klipin, “and there is not a Federal MP across the country that does not know who we are and what we do. With a Federal election looming in 2013, we collectively need to maintain the focus and capitalise on what has been achieved.”
“In the end, the Australian community needs to be able to access trusted and affordable advice” said Mr Klipin. “This is the ambition of the FoFA legislation and, whilst it is flawed policy, it is now up to the members of the AFA to ensure we deliver as best we can on this premise.”