SMSF advice in Senator’s sights

The rise of self-managed superannuation makes the quality of professional advice a hot political topic, according to a Coalition Senator.

New South Wales Nationals Senator John Williams – who was instrumental in leading to push to hold an inquiry into the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC's) handling of whistleblower information – said that honesty and integrity in advice given to consumers is more important than ever. 

“This is my big concern,” the Senator told SMSF Adviser, “We have about $1.5 trillion in super funds and it appears that more and more people are going to self-managed funds – so it is more and more important than ever that we have good, honest operators in financial planning.

“This is going to be a requirement of the public for decades to come.”

Senator Williams said the Commonwealth FP matter – in which information about misleading and deceptive conduct perpetrated by a number of Commonwealth FP advisers was allegedly provided to the corporate regulator and not acted on for three years, according to Fairfax newspapers – has shaken his confidence in ASIC’s ability to monitor the professional financial advice industry.

“We need to ensure that ASIC is properly ensuring that advisers are doing exactly what they’re meant to be doing in a timely fashion,” he said.

“ASIC seem to be moving at a snail’s pace and I am concerned that there is other wrongdoing that has not yet come to light.”

ASIC’s leadership was due to provide a response to more than 100 questions asked by Senator Williams regarding the matter yesterday, but has sought an extension, SMSF Adviser understands.

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