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Financial Planning Association chief executive Mark Rantall.
Financial Planning Association chief executive Mark Rantall.

Financial planners have declared opposition to the Abbott Government's planned changes to advice laws, warning they cannot support them in their current form.

In a special one-day hearing into amendments to Future of Financial Advice laws, a raft of consumer groups lined up to argue against the changes.

The Government, which argues its proposals would save the financial advice sector $200 million a year, froze its changes after an outcry from a raft of interest groups

Most concern has centred on wealth management companies paying advisers for giving out general financial advice which benefits the wealth manager.

Critics also worry about a provision that will no longer require advisers to inform clients of fees and a change to a requirement for advisers to act in a client's best interest.

Industry Super Australia analysis says consumers could be up to $530 million a year worse off because of higher fees and reduced returns on investments.

Financial Planning Association chief executive Mark Rantall said if certain companies were able to pay commissions for general advice, the FPA could not support the amendments. "The FPA supports this Bill subject to commissions being banned on general advice," Mr Rantall said.

Association chairman Matthew Rowe said an artificial division had been created between commissions for personal advice and general advice.

National policy manager for the Council of the Ageing, Jo Root, said in her talks with Ministers and Treasury, it appeared the overriding concern was the financial needs of the banks.

"The explanations all come from the banking sector and constantly referred to the banks' business models," she said.

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