The SMSF Association has endorsed the Federal Government’s decision to legislate new professional standards for financial advisors.
Minister for Revenue Kelly O’Dwyer announced that the new professional standards regime would start from 1 January 2019, with a transition period.
The legislation will establish an independent standards body, “to govern the professional standing of the financial advice industry,” said Minister O’Dwyer.
“The body will be responsible for developing and setting the industry exam, developing the code of ethics, and determining the education and development requirements for both new and existing advisers.”
The costs of establishing the body will be paid by the large banks and AMP. Once it is operating the Government intends to develop an “ongoing industry funding model”.
“This independent standards body will raise minimum standards in the financial advice industry and improve public confidence in the sector,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“The Government will introduce its legislation on the reform package into Parliament following final consultations with industry and consumer groups later this month.”
SMSF Association Head of Policy Jordan George said it would be a priority for the Association to ensure that advisors giving advice to SMSF trustees have the requisite education.
“Having financial advisors who meet rigorous standards and have completed relevant education courses is crucial to ensuring consumers receive the best quality financial advice,” he said.
“This is especially important with the increasing demand for financial advice from the baby boomer generation who are approaching or entering retirement.”
“We look forward to working with the new independent standards setting body to develop improved educational standards for the financial advice industry.”