Kick out those kickbacks

Soft-dollar commissions to members of the financial services industry for directing business to certain products should be outlawed and banned, says the Australian Investors' Association. The industry should crack down on all forms of alternative remuneration, such as tickets to sporting events and holidays, the AIA said. President Bob Andrew described the practice as “unsavoury” and said the proposed measures put forward late in 2003 by the Investment and Financial Services Association and the Financial Planning Association of Australia are not “consumer-friendly”. Their joint proposal banned the acceptance of gifts and attendance at conferences with a register to be set up for all payments over $300.