The terms ‘financial planner’ and ‘financial adviser’ are set to be enshrined in corporations law following a passage of a Bill in Parliament last week.
On May 29, the lower house voted in favour of the Corporations Amendment (Simple Corporate Bonds and Other Measures) Bill 2013: Amendments, acting on the recommendation of the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services that the piece of legislation be passed.
Essentially, the bill will make it an offense for a person to title themselves as an authorised financial adviser or financial planner when they don’t have the recognised training or authority to do so. Currently under the Corporations Act 2001, there is no legislation against individuals using the titles financial planner and financial planners adviser irrespective of their training, competence, or licensing. This bill will ensure consumers are protected against property spruikers and other unlicensed operators.
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has welcomed the enshrinement and the Association of Financial Planning of Australia (FPA) which has been advocating for this measure for over a decade are delighted at the news. FPA general manager of policy and standards Dante De Gori has told the Financial Standard, “that this move in itself was not a ‘silver bullet’, but when attached the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms it is a further step for consumers and he hoped that it would encourage more Australians to get advice.”
The Bill will next be discussed in the Senate likely between the 17th and 27th of June – the final sitting of Parliament before the election.