Banks committed to financial advice reforms

The banking industry has put its support behind the federal government’s drive to professionalise the financial advice industry.

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) said it will support the main elements of the government’s recommendations, which include a new minimum entry qualification and a new mandatory exam which they will have to pass before becoming registered.

The other recommendations include a new professional year requirement for new financial advisers, an enhanced CDP program and a new mandatory requirement to be a member of a recognised professional association.

ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg said the banking industry supports a co-regulatory model and an independent standards setting body to monitor the higher education and professional standards of financial advisers.

“To help drive professionalisation, and working with the government, the major banks are willing to contribute funding to support the establishment and initial operating expenses of the new independent body,” he said.

“This will allow the financial advice industry and government to move quickly on the design and [implement] new industry-wide standards as proposed by the government in its consultation paper.”

Mr Münchenberg said the ABA will continue to work constructively with the government and other stakeholders on implementing a new model.

“Banks support delivering additional reforms which build on the Future of Financial Advice platform of improved consumer protections, raising education and competency standards of financial advisers, and driving the professionalisation of the financial advice industry,” he said.

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