23 November 2016
Sydney, 23 November 2016: New legislation to raise the competency and ethical conduct standards of financial advisers will turn financial advice into a trusted profession, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
The ABA’s Executive Director – Retail Policy, Diane Tate, said: “We welcome the introduction of the Federal Government’s professional standards legislation in Parliament today. This is an important next step in making sure all financial advisers meet higher standards.
“Many Australians rely on financial advice to help them get the most out of their money, whether they’re building up wealth or in retirement.
“The new higher minimum entry and education qualifications, better continuing professional development requirements and a mandatory code of ethics for financial advisers will help ensure consumers receive high quality advice that is in their best interests.
“Banks are helping to fast track these reforms by providing funding to set up the new standards setting body.”
Ms Tate said banks recognised the need to improve conduct and culture and deliver better outcomes for customers, including in the area of financial advice.
“Banks are developing new industry standards for their financial advisers to ensure they can put into practice the Government’s professional standards framework.
“The banking industry is also supporting the new professional standards framework by strengthening existing recruitment practices of financial advisers across banks. The new reference checking protocol means banks can find out a lot more about the conduct history of financial advisers before employing them,” she said.
“We look forward to working with the Government and the financial services sector to implement the full package of reforms without delay, so consumers can have trust in the financial advice they receive,” Ms Tate said.
The financial advice reforms will be implemented alongside a series of new industry initiatives to better protect customers and improve the culture in banks.
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“The impact of climate change, its mitigation, and the ongoing decarbonisation of the economy is now critical to every aspect of our lives,”
“This is a positive step to resolving the acute labour shortages we’re seeing in our economy.”