Jones and Robert ‘very, very pleased’ with FPA and AFA merger
The merger between the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has been warmly received by senior members of the government and opposition, according to FPA chief executive officer Sarah Abood.
In a recent appearance at AIA Australia’s Adviser Summit, Ms Abood noted she and other senior FPA and AFA figures had recently met with Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, and the Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Stuart Robert.
“Both of them were very, very pleased about the merger. They offered very sincere congratulations, they had big grins on their faces, and they both made the point that, for them, this made a huge difference to their ability to engage with the profession,” she said.
“They felt that they could come to us and get an answer as to what the profession thinks and what the profession needs, so I can’t state strongly enough how very important that is.”
Speaking alongside Ms Abood, AFA national president Sam Perera said the industry now has a “mammoth effort” in front of it when it comes to the Quality of Advice (QAR) review.
“I think it’s now critical that all the voices, all the legitimate voices, of the profession come together and knock on the Minister’s door, knock on the Treasurer’s door, and knock on the shadow minister’s door to say, ‘implement these proposals as swiftly as possible’,” he said.
Mr Perera warned the issues most important to the advice industry are at risk of being lost in the noise of the other issues currently under consideration by the government.
“We’ve had some major reforms announced last week in relation to superannuation, of course the May budget is coming, who knows what that will entail,” he said.
“We do not want QAR to be lost and buried. It’s vitally important to us, and I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s not necessarily vitally important to everyone that sits in Canberra.
“So, it’s our job, and the more legitimate voices that get in there and bang the same drum with the same message to try and get the air time that we need to shift it up that agenda to make sure it gets onto that legislative timetable so we can get it done. It’s vitally important.”
Ms Abood and Mr Perera have called on the government to act swiftly on some of the potential “quick wins” from the QAR, with the FPA and AFA hoping to reach a consensus with stakeholders on three key issues to take to the Minister within weeks.