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Why is the government bringing on their FOFA legislation before the Financial System Inquiry reports?

Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Competition Policy and Small Business, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson provides the following comments on the Government reintroducing their Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014 into the House of Representatives today.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today the Government has brought on FoFA legislation that is aimed at locking into law the dodgy deal that they have done with Clive Palmer to back the big banks over consumers.

“This week alone there has been a chorus of voices calling for reforms that strengthen consumer protections and break the sales-based cultures of the big end of town, yet the Government seeks to take the opposite path.

“Choice, Industry Super Australia, ASIC and the Government’s own hand-picked chair of the Financial Systems Inquiry, David Murray, have all criticised the current system and called for reforms to limit industry excesses.

“The question you have to ask is why is the Government bringing this to Parliament prior to receiving the final recommendations from the Financial Systems Inquiry?

“David Murray’s Financial Systems Inquiry interim report has called for stronger protection for consumers, yet the Government is determined to rush through legislation and deliver for their mates in the banks and large financial services companies.

“The Government continues to maintain that it is only a few rogue planners and that the financial advice system is fundamentally sound.

“This is clearly not the case. There are systemic problems with the sales culture of vertically-integrated models in big organisations.

“The Government should heed these concerns, recognise that rolling back protections puts consumers at risk and put their FoFA Bill on ice,” he concluded.

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