Labor flags plans to improve MyGov access for advisers
Shadow minister Stephen Jones said Labor would look at improving the way advisers can access client information from the MyGov portal.
In an online discussion with FPA chief executive Sarah Abood, shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones said Labor is looking at a range of measures in the consumer data space that it will consider implementing if elected.
Mr Jones said this would include making it easier for advisers to access client information through the MyGov portal, where clients have provided permission in a similar way to how accountants currently access information through the ATO.
“Within the consumer data space, there are a whole bunch of ways that we should be able to have more frictionless information flows which are directed by the client or customer,” he explained.
As part of implementing this, Mr Jones stressed that it would be critical to ensure that the right sort of consumer and data security protections are put in place.
“These things can become a honeypot for fraudsters and cyber criminals, so all these aspects need to be looked at,” he stated.
Ms Abood said this was welcome news for FPA members, with financial advisers under current arrangements finding it difficult or even impossible to engage with government agencies such as the ATO and Centrelink on behalf of their clients.
“The idea of being able to efficiently and securely access that information in a timely way would be really transformative for many practices,” said Ms Abood.
This is a significant issue facing advisers, she said, with access to information about clients currently high cost and very limited.
In a recent paper released by the FPA, the association noted that the ATO allows tax agents to access its online services portal and act on behalf of their clients, but financial planners are excluded from this arrangement despite operating under the same regulatory framework with the Tax Practitioners Board.
“As only one tax agent is able to be registered per person and, as many people also have an accountant, the portal is also not able to recognise a financial planner as a client’s second tax agent,” the FPA explained.
Centrelink and the ATO should develop their online services portals to ensure financial planners, and other relevant professionals, have access to a full range of functions and can act effectively on behalf of their clients.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.