AFA: calls again to restrict use of the term "financial advisor" under legislation

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For better consumer protection, AFA again calls to enshrine the term “Financial adviser”

In its 2009 submission to the Ripoll Inquiry, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) called for the term “Financial Adviser” which encompasses all those who work under the Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) regime to be enshrined in legislation.


“Those who work under an AFSL are obliged by law to act in the best interests of their clients,” said AFA CEO Richard Klipin. “In the interests of properly protecting consumers, it is this distinction that they need to understand. It therefore makes sense to enshrine the term in legislation so that only those who work inside the AFSL tent have the right to call themselves a financial adviser/planner and belong to a professional association such as the AFA. Those who sit outside the AFSL tent should not be permitted to use the term financial adviser/planner.”

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The AFA is Australia’s longest serving financial adviser association and this year celebrates its 65th Anniversary.

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“The AFA has provided leadership and direction to holistic and risk specialist financial advisers through more than six decades of change, including FSR,” Mr Klipin said. “We therefore have a very clear understanding of the profession and we believe the fundamental issue is consumer protection – consumers who engage an adviser working under an AFSL have rights and protection. Until this distinction is enshrined in law, those who do not act under a financial services licence will continue to operate and consumers who use their services will continue to be at risk.”

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AFA President, Brad Fox said that in the interests of consumers, it is very important that members of the financial advice community’s various professional associations are seen to be cooperative, supportive and respectful of each other in raising public perception around financial advice. “It is a combination of behaviour and education that will change consumer perception, not a sticker or badge that says you belong to one association or another,” Fox said.

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“To see that consumers are better served, we believe the focus should firstly be on ensuring sensible FOFA outcomes, rather than pursuing self interests,” he said. “We can assure all consumers and interested parties that AFA Members are not operating in a moral and/or ethical vacuum and have continued to demonstrate outstanding professionalism and compassion for our clients for 65 years. We also confirm that the AFA will continue to represent the interests of all financial advice professionals where those interests are consistent with positive consumer outcomes.”

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