The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 06/06/2013

NO.103

Coalition abandons consumer protections reforms

The Coalition is trying to block legislation that will boost protections for millions of Australians who use financial advisers.

These measures would have made sure that people receiving tax advice from a financial adviser can be confident that the adviser meets appropriate professional and ethical standards. Financial advisers who provide tax advice would be overseen by the Tax Practitioners Board to make sure they meet the relevant education and experience requirements.

Financial advisers are currently exempt from this oversight but the exemption expires on 30 June 2013.

These amendments are supported by the Tax Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia and provide for a generous transition period.

"Millions of Australians rely on the advice provided by their financial advisers on tax and investment decisions," said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

"Consumers deserve to have confidence that there is appropriate accountability and transparency around the tax advice that they receive from financial advisers.

"It is heartbreaking to hear about Australians who have lost money on the basis of incorrect advice from their financial adviser."

Consumers can wear the costs of bad advice. In one example cited by Australian Securities and Investments Commission, an investor was fined $6,000 by the Australian Taxation Office because his financial advisor gave him incorrect advice about borrowing to invest in property in a self-managed super fund.

Mr Bradbury said the millions of Australians who use financial advisers should feel secure knowing that these advisers meet appropriate professional and ethical standards.

"These important amendments would make sure that consumers have peace of mind that there are strong protections in place," Mr Bradbury said.

"The Coalition, however, want to water down protections for consumers and they should be held accountable.

"The Government will allow further time for the Parliament to consider the legislation and I call on the Coalition to support these important consumer protection measures."

6 June 2013