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The Financial Adviser as fiduciary : a brave new world?
The November 2009 Report delivered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services examined the role of financial advisers in the Australian context. The Parliamentary Committee questioned whether the apparent tension between client-focussed financial advice and product-focussed financial advice would be remedied by parliament imposing a statutory fiduciary duty of care upon financial advisers. The Corporations Amendment (Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2011(Cth) and the Corporations Amendment (Further Future of Financial Advice Measures) Bill 2011(Cth) have now been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. This paper suggests that the imposition of a statute based duty should not represent entry into a brave new world but is a reflection of the role that financial advisers play in contemporary society.