Financial planners doubt merit of new disclosure laws

A study by CPA Australia found that only 34 per cent of people who used planners for at least two years had noticed an improvement since the Financial Services Reform Act was implemented in March, 2004. More than half, or 54 per cent said they had noticed no difference and 10 per cent said the quality had fallen. An ASIC report released last year found that 75 per cent of consumers were pushed into costly master trusts, with less than one in 10 being given clear, documented reasons why. In many cases, planners did not recommend more suitable alternatives with lower fees.