NAB has settled fears that its newly launched SMSF offering will replace professionals, but suggests the new licensing regime for accountants has left trustees turning away from their accountants for SMSF services.
The bank announced that it has partnered with Heffron SMSF Solutions to launch a cost-efficient, direct SMSF set-up service that will “make it easier for investors to set up and administer their own fund”.
The new service includes ATO registration, an ABN, tax file number, and cash and trading accounts, as well as ongoing administration through one online form.
Speaking to ifa regarding concerns that the new service is bypassing the need for financial advice, NAB head of SMSF solutions Gemma Dale said, “The removal of the accountants’ exemption on 1 July 2016 certainly changed things for us and our customers.”
“We have some customers who know they want an SMSF, but they are not seeking comprehensive advice. This has made it easier for them because they now don’t have to go through the whole advice process.”
Meanwhile, Heffron co-founder and head of customer Meg Heffron told ifa that the service is not “something that removes the need for advice or disrupts advice services”.
“Traditionally, our business has been all about working with advisers on their client’s SMSFs rather than direct with trustees so we’ve got a pretty good handle on the value advisers can add, but there’s always been a cohort of people who don’t particularly want advice or don’t want it right now,” Ms Heffron said.
“This service is an enabler for people at the ‘I don’t want advice yet’ stage. I guess where this service is different is that it’s a partnership between NAB, who has all the expertise in the banking product and the broking product side of things, and Heffron who has all the SMSF expertise.
“Whilst we have no interest in replacing an adviser, we do have a lot of experience with the sorts of questions that trustees ask.”
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