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Bank scraps financial advice certificate in SMSF lending

by James Mitchell10 minute read

St George Bank has revealed new system enhancements to its SMSF products, including the removal of a financial advice certificate requirement for SMSF lending.

The changes, which will take effect on January 19, have been prompted by the FOFA [Future of Financial Advice] reforms, according to general manager of mortgage broking Clive Kirkpatrick.

"One of the changes that we have made with our SMSF loans is to remove the need for the financial advice certificate," he told The Adviser.

"We removed that necessity as part of these changes," he said, explaining that FOFA, new lending guidelines from APRA and the Financial System Inquiry's final report will change the financial services landscape.


"It is not just in the mortgage market where big changes are happening," Mr Kirkpatrick said. "We have to be aware of what changes are happening in other areas.

"Mortgage brokers work across different professions with accountants and solicitors as well as financial planners."

While brokers will no longer be required to seek a financial advice certificate when dealing with SMSF clients, St George will require certification from the trustee.

"Obviously, it is the trustee's decision as to what they invest in," Mr Kirkpatrick said.

"They need to understand all the risks and satisfy the suitability for the type of asset that is in the super fund, but we think this just makes it easier," he said.

The new SMSF system enhancements also include a new online super fund calculator. Brokers will be able to use data from the calculator in their applications through auto-transfer of data to the application.

Brokers will also have the ability to correctly capture the complex super fund applicant structure, which St George claims will reduce errors and effort for brokers and assessors, leading to improved turnaround times to approval.

"We have always led the industry with our SMSF home loan, and [this] launch means we are also market-leading in terms of a lodgement platform," Mr Kirkpatrick said.

"We know this new platform really enhances our offering to brokers and their customers."

[Related: MFAA and FBAA form battlelines on SMSF borrowing]

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