Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has welcomed the Coalition Government’s announcement to enact reforms designed to ensure that consumers receive professional treatment from financial advisers as part of its response to the Financial Systems Inquiry (FSI).
The Coalition Government established the FSI in late 2013, delivering on an election commitment to hold a root and branch examination of Australia’s financial system.
The FSI was asked to make recommendations that would position the financial system to best meet Australia’s evolving needs and support economic growth.
Mr Porter said the Coalition Government supports the FSI’s recommendation to improve the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers.
“The biggest decisions Australians make in life – buying a home, providing for our retirements, or starting a business – are all supported by our financial system,” he said.
“The FSI found that Australia has a well performing financial system – the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations will ensure Australia’s financial system is the best in the world.
“To build consumer confidence and trust, stakeholders including advisers and educational bodies will need to work together towards achieving higher standards.
“The new framework will require financial advisers to hold a degree, pass an exam, undertake continuous professional development, subscribe to a code of ethics and undertake a professional year before they can advise clients, which will be set by a standards-setting entity created by industry and recognised by the Government.”
Mr Porter said that the Coalition Government also recognises the importance of appropriate transitional arrangements for existing advisers to ensure that their experience is recognised.
“While these reforms will represent a substantial change to the current regulatory environment, financial advisers will deliver significant benefits to consumers and industry by raising standards to help build a recognised profession,” Mr Porter said.
The Coalition Government’s full response to the Financial System Inquiry is available at: treasury.gov.au/fsi.