The Commonwealth Bank’s wealth business has ceased implementing systems facilitating FOFA’s opt-in requirement, prompting the Abbott Government to honour its pre-election financial services policy promises.
Marianne Perkovic CBA executive general manager, wealth advice, has revealed at the recent Finsia conference that the bank has already begun preparing for the changes committed by the Coalition, including the removal of opt-in and has fully embraced aspects of the FOFA regime, such as the best interests duty and ban on conflicted remuneration. Perkovic has said that, “with the change in government, people in pockets of the industry are suggesting there is the opportunity now to wind back parts of FOFA – we are strongly advocating some of that, where we believe it only has increased the cost of providing advice, without any customer benefit. Given that we have the best interests duty, we always questioned whether opt-in was required. Opt-in should not be seen as just a box-tick situation…the removal is something we support.”
In addition, the CBA GM has raised concerns over the opt-in clause, stating that the, “fiduciary duty introduced by FOFA makes the clause redundant and that the bank has already ceased putting systems in place to facilitate the requirement, given the Coalition’s promise to repeal the relevant provisions.”