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FoFA clause could cost consumers $2.8bn: study

The major banks and AMP stand to gain up to $200 million a year through changes being proposed under Future of Financial Advice rules, new research shows.

A study by Rice Warner commissioned by Industry Super Australia said the extension of a grandfathering clause under the FoFA rules could cost consumers $2.8 billion over 14 years, or an average of $201 million a year, in a major win to the banks that control the majority of super funds.

The clause relates to the cost of allowing financial planners to take their commissions with them when they move to a new institution.

It also includes controversial ''orphan'' commissions, or fees that are collected by a bank or institution even once a financial planner leaves and is no longer in charge of an account.

Under the Labor reforms, the rules only allowed grandfathering to occur with existing clients in their current product.

The proposed changes, being pushed by the banks, would see advisers be allowed to move their clients to a different product and retain the remuneration arrangements.


The ISA has called for a further audit to reveal how much the changes could cost consumers, and how much the banks use ''orphan'' commissions.

''The [proposed changes] deprive consumers of the opportunity to decide whether they wish to continue with commission payment arrangements,'' ISA deputy chief executive Robbie Campo said.

''Consumers should be given some say in this given that commissions are depleting their super and investments.''

ASIC research shows that two-thirds of financial planning clients are passive and have no or very little contact with their planner - predominantly people with default super accounts.

Ms Campo said the proposals also highlighted the industry practice of ''orphaning'' commissions, in which institutions retained commissions when there is not even a planner assigned to the client.

''Every extension of grandfathering exacerbates the problem of orphaned commissions of which consumers bear the direct cost with no benefit,'' she said.