Planners fear change to rules

Under government reforms to the disclosure of financial advice, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and accountants could move into selling financial products. Under present rules, a financial advisor providing personal advice must give a detailed statement of that advice, though the rules don't clearly distinguish between a professional giving independent advice and those wanting to sell financial products. As part of its corporate and financial services regulation review, the government is trying to create a new framework. Consumer representatives have baulked at moves to let financial advisors give summary rather than detailed information to new investors investing less than $10,000. The Financial Planning Association responded to the proposals by saying the sector could be split in two; although they would need to be licensed, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and accountants could make sales recommendations for financial products, leaving financial advice to qualified financial advisors.