The federal coalition has already drafted legislation that it will introduce to repeal elements of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms if it is elected to government at the next election.

“We already have the legislative changes drafted, having consulted closely with organisations, including the AFA,” Steve Ciobo, deputy chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee, told the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) national conference on the Gold Coast yesterday.

Ciobo, who stood in yesterday for Mathias Cormann, the assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services and superannuation, said that “in our judgement, FoFA has failed to strike the right balance between appropriate levels of consumer protection and the need to ensure the ongoing availability, accessibility and affordability of high-quality financial advice”.

“In government, therefore, the coalition will fix FoFA by implementing all of the 16 recommendations we made as part of the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) inquiry into the legislation,” Ciobo said.

“This has been a decision formally adopted as coalition policy going into the next election by our shadow cabinet and by the party room.”

The beat goes on

In a video address to the conference, Cormann said the financial planning industry had been “on the receiving end of way too much regulatory change, and increased regulation, from the current government, much of it making things more complex and more expensive rather than making things better”.

“The coalition is already on the record spelling out very clearly how we would improve the government’s Future of Financial Advice changes if we were elected to government at the next election,” Cormann said.

“We will get rid of opt in. We will streamline the annual fee-disclosure requirements. We will improve the best interests duty – the definition of the best interests duty. And we will make sure that scalable advice can safely be provided by advisers across Australia.

“And of course beyond fixing FoFA, what we would like to do is work with you in the months ahead leading up to the next election to identify opportunities for how we can further cut red tape, particularly in the financial services space.”

Cormann said the coalition also was concerned about changes that government has made to the MySuper rules, which Cormann said imposed additional red tape and would, if passed, see “billions of dollars in superannuation savings from more than a million Australians transferred from their chosen fund to Bill Shorten’s legislated MySuper fund without seeking their approval first”.

“We are concerned about the adverse, costly implications of that move for many people across Australia and we continue to try to convince the Parliament to fix this legislation before it is passed,” he said.