NSW Senator John Williams is hoping to find out if Labor benefited from its failure to regulate commissions from industry super funds.
Responding to criticism of the Government’s decision to implement some of its Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms by regulation by Labor Senator, Lisa Singh, who claimed the changes would open the door for conflicted remuneration, The Nationals Senator said questioned why the previous government had not included commissions on industry super funds’ insurance products in its legislation.
“I want to make this point,” Senator Williams said. “Conflicted remuneration and commissions are banned for professional advice and for general advice. That is a fact. There is no removal of that.”
Senator Williams claimed Labor “unnecessarily pushed up the cost of advice for investors” through its FOFA legislation, but failed to regulate certain commissions relating to industry funds.
“I wonder why, when you brought in your FoFA regulations, you did not have regulations on commissions from some of those insurance products.
“I look forward to finding out where some of those commissions and rebates on insurance products actually go. Many people say they go to the Labor Party. I look forward to doing some investigation on that.”
Under the Abbott Government’s reforms, Senator Williams said the interests of clients would remain “first and foremost”, stressing there would be no commissions for general advice or personal advice.
“There are no commissions or conflicted remunerations, whether it be on general, professional or personal advice,” he said.
“I would just reaffirm that the best interest test stays locked in concrete.
“The Government are simply trying to remove some of the red tape and costs so that the compliance and administration costs of financial planners do not grow and grow and grow where they get to the stage where they have to charge so much whereby people will simply not seek professional advice.”