Financial services downgraded

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his new-look cabinet and the biggest shift in the eyes of the financial services sector will be the removal of Bill Shorten from the financial services and superannuation portfolio.

Shorten has been replaced by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, and now holds the portfolio of education and workplace relations. Penny Wong will hold onto her spot as Minister for Finance and Deregulation, and will lead the Government in the Senate.

Shorten said he was “proud” of the reforms they had made during his tenure. “We have built upon on the great legacy of Hawke and Keating, which improve the transparency and fairness of our financial services sector, while making our superannuation system more sustainable for the future.”

He said that they had “bought[sic] the financial planning industry into the 21st century by removing conflicted remuneration structures and challenging the industry to become more professional, a challenge which I think the industry has and will continue to rise to."

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the financial services sector for working co-operatively and diligently with the Government to deliver reforms in the best interests of all Australians.

“I am certain that Treasurer Chris Bowen and Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury will continue Labor’s legacy of working towards providing all Australians with a dignified retirement.”

Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Mathias Cormann said the Government had “significantly downgraded the importance of financial services and superannuation by eliminating a minister with dedicated responsibility.”

“The Treasurer's responsibilities have always included financial services and superannuation. However, in the past a dedicated minister had specific responsibilities for this important area,” said Cormann.

“Instead, the Rudd Labor government has decided to downgrade financial services and superannuation to a mere 'minister assisting' position.”

Bradbury holds an Arts Degree and an Honours Degree in Law. He has also undertaken postgraduate studies in taxation law. Prior to his election to Parliament, Bradbury was a senior associate practising in taxation law with the corporate law firm Blake Dawson.