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Protect consumers and financial planners: disclosure of fees vital for integrity of industry

Media Release
Bob Brown 29 Feb 2012

The government should not delay much-needed financial services reforms for consumers and providers of financial advice, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"People setting aside hard-earned money for their retirement or other purposes have every right to know how much money financial planners are making in fees. It is also vital for people seeking financial advice that the potential for conflicts of interest is reduced," Senator Brown said in Canberra.

"The financial services industry is a growing and important sector in the economy but reforms are necessary to protect consumers and to ensure a professional industry providing good advice into the future," Senator Brown said.

"In particular, the Greens strongly support the banning of conflicted remuneration, including commissions and volume based payments, and the introduction of a best interest test for financial advisers.

"The government's proposed legislation still allows asset-based fees and the government has already compromised on its initial proposals with the opt-in obligations for these payments - now every two years instead of annually and applying only to new clients. We believe the Government should have stuck by its initial proposals.

"Given this back-down annual fee disclosure is an important mechanism, for people seeking financial advice to be fully aware of how much they are paying and what services they are receiving," Senator Brown said.

Later today, the Joint Committee on Corporate and Financial Services will table its report into the Future of Financial Advice legislation.


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