It only took a week but the government has finally had a “win” in the Senate by avoiding the strikedown of its changes to financial advice laws that were passed by the previous government under its FOFA reform package.
The government is ebullient about this, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann saying last night that “The Senate’s vote in support of the Government’s improvements to our financial advice laws is good news for consumers and for small business financial advisers.”
The passage was enabled by a deal with the Palmer United Party on the regulations that Cormann had put in place at the beginning of the month.
But the passage of the reforms remains a contentious issue within the financial planning industry and the release of the Murray Inquiry yesterday suggests that areas do continue to require scrutiny.
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), one of two planning industry bodies, said yesterday that in their view “These Amendments do not reduce consumer protections, but importantly enhance the efficiency of the financial advice system.”
AFA CEO Brad Fox said further that “The prospect of having the FoFA Amendments regulations disallowed in the Senate, as a result of a vigorous campaign of misinformation by opponents of these reforms, was deeply disturbing to our members.”
So planners will be pleased but the heat has not yet gone out of this debate and the prospect of further amendments signalled by the government to FOFA laws will keep the debate in motion.