Cons would outweigh pros for broker central register: White

by Julia Corderoy22 Jul 2014
The financial planning industry has called for an overhaul of consumer access to advisers' information, but a similar move for brokers would prove too costly, an industry figure has maintained.

BT Financial Group has called for a tougher central register for financial planners to improve transparency and help consumers make more informed decisions.

“We have long supported the creation of a public register that would encompass the education, years of experience, employment history and areas of expertise and annual certification results for every financial planner in Australia… Most importantly we would like to see a customer rating for all advisers that would be widely accessible by all Australians,” BT Financial Group Chief Executive, Brad Cooper said.

But FBAA CEO Peter White told Australian Broker that any similar moves to register brokers would see the cons outweigh the pros.

“ASIC already holds a register for all licensed brokers – and to be licensed there are certain provisions in place that need to be ticked. That’s already one measure that is in the market place. Then you’ve also got associations, like the FBAA website, where the criteria as to how you become a member is available to consumers, and there is public access for consumers to search to see if a broker is a member of the FBAA. I don’t know what the value is for yet another register,” White said.

White said while a central database would provide consumers with one easy access point for information, the cost involved would make it prohibitive.

“If a new database was set up, it would cost a fortune – you would have to promote the fact it is there, have someone run it and police it and have someone ensure all the data is up to date… I grasp the understanding of it, but I don’t think it provides anything extra that is going to make it worthwhile,” he said.