The SMSF Association has put its weight behind a co-regulatory approach as the best way to improve professional standards in the financial advice industry.

The Association CEO/Managing Director Andrea Slattery says: “The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC) is right on the mark with its push for co-regulation.

“Our Association is firm in the view that this approach is the most effective way to foster a profession instead of a compliance-based approach to financial advisor education and ethical standards.

“Those criticising the PJC report’s push for greater co-regulation in financial advice are missing the main point – the importance of creating a profession in financial advice as the most effective way to lift professional standards.

“Building a professional model should improve consumer confidence in financial advice as consumers can trust that they have attained the necessary education and competency requirements, are members of professional associations, are bound by professional and ethical conduct rules, and, most importantly, are continually looking to improve their skill set.”

Slattery says the role of professional associations is critical to this process. “In other professions, such as medicine, law and accounting, their professional associations play a critical role in educating their members, promoting ethical behaviours and protecting consumers.

“It patently works in those professions and should be no different for financial advice.

“Our Association has been active in building a profession in the specialist field of SMSF advice over the past 12 years, and will continue to do so, promoting the need for professionalism and for financial advisors to become specialists in complex areas such as SMSFs.”

She says although the Association did not agree totally with some of the technical elements of the PJC report, “we definitely support the move to lift standards in the financial advice profession, as outlined to recent our submission made to Treasury.

“The Association looks forward to working further with the Government to advance the building the financial advice profession.

“We have been a long-time advocate for improving the education and training of financial advisors to deliver better, more specialised advice, especially in the SMSF sector, and believe the co-regulatory approach is the best way to achieve this goal.”

About the SMSF Association:

The SMSF Association is the authoritative voice for the self-managed superannuation fund sector. The Association, which represents professionals providing a range of services across various disciplines in the complex area of SMSFs, is an advocate for the highest professional standards and competence to ensure SMSF trustees always receive the best possible advice.

Contact for interviews:

Andrea Slattery
SMSF Association CEO/Managing Director
M: 0417 898 317
E: ceo@smsfassociation.com

Jordan George
SMSF Association, Senior Manager, Technical & Policy
M: 0417 123 427
E: JordanGeorge@smsfassociation.com

Media
Nicholas Way
Shed Media
M: 0409 585 979
E: nway@shedmedia.com.au

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