SPAA joins forces with the United Nations

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The SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) has become the first Australian financial services organisation to become a partner of the United Nations’ Convention of Independent Financial Advisers (CIFA).

CIFA, based in Geneva, was established by the UN as a non-profit foundation to support independent financial advice in the international arena. The convention manages the UN’s ‘Charter of the Protection of Investor Rights’.

SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery said the move highlighted the recognition of the SPAA’s leadership role in the provision of professional services. Slattery said she was first approached by CIFA about 18 months ago because the SPAA was seen as one of Australia’s leading professional associations. They join more than 53 international financial services organisations in CIFA.

“By becoming the first Australian representative and partnering with CIFA, SPAA will be at the forefront of the debate on financial services issues as they relate to professional financial advice and investor protection around the globe,” said Slattery.

“It will give SPAA a window seat to what is happening overseas in the financial advisory industry, and the valuable insights it provides us with will benefit our members and the industry.”

Functions of CIFA include:

  • To propose and present projects to national and international authorities for the harmonisation of the differing operating rules and regulations within the member states represented by CIFA
  • To facilitate the implementation of new rules and procedures imposed by national and supra national authorities
  • To establish a code of conduct to deal with unethical practices and money laundering

ASIC gave the SPAA the green light after ensuring there were no conflicts between the UN’s and CIFA’s objectives in the charter, and the current legislative regime in Australia. CIFA now represents about 40 countries and about 300,000 financial advisors.

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