On 4 September 2014, the Senate referred an inquiry into the implications of financial advice reforms to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day of July 2015.
The Senate subsequently extended the reporting date on 2 March 2015 to 1 February 2016. The terms of reference are comprehensive and include the following matters:
The Senate Economics Reference Committee (SERC) Interim Report – Scrutiny of Financial Advice has been released and sets out the terms of reference for its report on the implications of financial advice reform, specifically:
The implications of financial advice reforms, with particular reference to:
- the current level of consumer protections;
- the role of, and oversight by, regulatory agencies in preventing the provision of unethical and misleading financial advice;
- whether existing mechanisms are appropriate in any compensation process relating to unethical or misleading financial advice and instances where these mechanisms may have failed;
- mechanisms, including a centralised register, that would ensure financial planners found to have breached any law or professional standards in their employment are transparent, for both the sector and consumers;
- how financial services providers and companies have responded to misconduct in the industry;
- other regulatory or legislative reforms that would prevent misconduct; and
- any related matters.
The committee is preparing a comprehensive report to address the terms of reference. In order to allow committee members sufficient time to consider the draft report, the committee has agreed to present this interim report with the intention of tabling its final report before 31 August 2016.
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