- Confusion reigns over financial services professionals’ roles in SMSF processes
- Professionals uncertain over who can recommend a property for a SMSF
- QPIA’s best positioned to provide property investment advice
The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has voiced its growing concern around the lack of regulation surrounding property investment in Australia.
In particular, the association is concerned with the lack of regulation and clarity surrounding property investment advice with regards to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), as financial services professionals question their role and the roles of others within the SMSF process.
According to PIPA, financial services professionals such as accountants, financial planners and mortgage brokers, remain tentative as to just who can legally guide SMSF customers through the process of investing in property.
“Our observation is that financial planners, accountants and mortgage brokers remain uncertain about who can recommend a property for investment within a SMSF,” PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said.
“And if industry professionals are confused, then what hope does that give us that consumers will navigate this investment channel successfully?” he said.
“With SMSFs attracting a growing number of Australians, many of which are looking to invest in property, the lack of appropriate regulation is putting the retirements of millions of Australians at risk.
“Once again we are calling on ASIC and the Federal Government to get up and take action and regulate property investment.”
While the vast majority of accountants, brokers and financial planners would all do their best to help clients make smart investment choices, a lack of regulation leaves consumers vulnerable to less scrupulous operators, namely property spruikers and marketeers, Mr Kingsley said.
Moreover, despite good intentions, many well-meaning professionals simply don’t have the qualifications to provide sound property investment advice, Mr Kingsley said.
“PIPA’s message to anyone operating in the financial services space where property investment is involved, including self-managed super, is to look after the customer where you are qualified.”
In the absence of a regulatory framework for property investment, the professional best positioned to provide property investment advice is a QPIA (Qualified Property Investment Adviser), Mr Kingsley said.
“QPIAs are formally educated and qualified to provide advice around property investment and adhere to strict guidelines and codes of ethics which support the best interests of the consumer.”
Financial services professionals looking to broaden their service offering to encompass property investment advice, or looking to be recognised for their existing expertise, can become a QPIA through PIPA’s Property Investment Adviser Accreditation Course.
Alternatively, any professionals active within the property investment space can simply become a member of PIPA, so that the public can identify them as a property investment professional within their discipline.
“PIPA remains dedicated to seeing property investment in Australia regulated. But in the meantime, we are calling on financial services professionals to work together in the best interests of Australian consumers and towards the greater goal of increasing the professionalism of property investment advice in Australia.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) is a not-for-profit association established by industry practitioners with the objective of representing and raising the professional standards of all operators involved with property investment.
Since its inception, PIPA has developed codes of ethics and conduct and professional standards of accreditation and education for the property investment industry, including a Property Investment Adviser Accreditation Course.
PIPA is actively lobbying the federal government to bring property investment advice into a regulatory framework. Until such regulation is introduced, PIPA will continue to provide the public with warnings about working with ethical and professional industry practitioners.
Kate Miller Communications
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