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Budget measures should end royal commission call: FSC

The Financial Services Council (FSC) says consumer protection measures in the Federal Budget should end calls for a royal commission into the sector.

“The Government has laid out a blueprint for strengthening consumer trust in the financial services industry,” CEO Sally Loane said.

“The FSC calls on all parties to finalise this unprecedented and stringent package of reforms so we can bring an end to the politicisation of the financial services industry.”

Measures in the budget include giving the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority stronger powers to remove and disqualify senior executives and directors. Executives disputing the decisions can take their cases to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Consumers will have access to a “one-stop shop” for dispute resolution, with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to replace the Financial Ombudsman Service, Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal from July next year.

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed measures to encourage older homeowners to downsize, but raises concerns over a plan to let first homebuyers withdraw voluntary super contributions for a property deposit.

“Our members, who provide advice to millions of Australians, are concerned that changes that reduce retirement savings of future retirees will only add extra pressure on the age pension,” CEO Dante De Gori said.

The FPA also says a new 0.06% tax on bank liabilities may be passed on to consumers and have a knock-on effect for the economy.      

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