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Government financial advice reforms a step in protecting consumers

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Media Release

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National law firm Slater and Gordon has welcomed the release today of draft legislation to provide greater safeguards for people using financial planners to invest in the stock market, property and other financial products.

James Higgins, Commercial and Project Litigation National Practice Group Leader with Slater and Gordon, said the proposed reforms were an important step forward following the high profile collapse of Storm, Trio, Westpoint and other financial service providers.

“Over recent years we have seen tens of thousands of Australians lose their life savings because of unscrupulous financial planners providing advice that was not in their clients interest,” Mr Higgins said.

“We welcome these reforms because they will go some way to restoring the trust mum and dad investors have lost over the years in the financial advisory profession.”

Mr Higgins said key elements of the reforms included:

  • Financial advisers having to get their clients to opt-in every two years if they wish to continue to receive ongoing advice
  • Financial planners and advisers having to act in the best interest of their clients ahead of their own or their employer and
  • Increased powers for the ASIC to enforce the new elements of these reforms.

Since May this year Slater and Gordon has been providing clients with a no win no fee service to help recover losses due to bad financial advice.

The law firm launched the RECOVER service in recognition of the fact that many Australians had received bad financial advice, but were concerned about “throwing good money after bad”.

RECOVER fills a void in the current Australian legal market by giving mum and dad investors options, including not having to pay upfront the ongoing legal costs of often expensive litigation to pursue valid claims against negligent advisors