Data access an unnecessary ‘friction point’ for advisers
Lobby efforts to improve access to data for financial advisers have ramped up further.
In a recent update to the Quality of Adviser Review - Issues Paper, the Joint Associations Working Group has called for broader access to existing data for advisers with data currently a “friction point” with financial advice.
The Joint Associations Working Group comprises 12 associations including the AFA; Boutique Financial Planning Principals Association; CA ANZ; CPA Australia; FPA; FSC; FINSIA; IPA; Licensee Leadership Forum; SMSF Association; Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association, and the Advisers Association.
The submission explained that there is significant unnecessary waste in the financial services system that is leading to additional cost, time, and resource requirements for consumers and advice providers.
“Much of this waste could be reduced or eliminated through access to up-to-date, reliable data that is already available within the financial services ecosystem,” it stated.
“Access to this data will allow financial advisers to provide better advice to clients, including the ability to proactively trigger services based on clients achieving or falling behind on goals, in turn adding to the value of the advice experience for consumers.”
While the submission said that privacy and security are always a concern, it noted that the data already exists in the system.
“Therefore, subject to the client's consent, the focus should be on making it available in a secure and confidential manner for their benefit. This will improve efficiency, attract and enable clients across all generations to take up cost-effective and timely advice services and solutions,” it said.
The submission made a number of recommendations in this area including the expansion of the Consumer Data Right to financial advisers and to all financial products in order to provide secure and efficient access to a client’s financial data.
It has also urged the government to consider allowing advisers to have access to the ATO portal and the creation of a standardised superannuation data application programming interface (API).
It has also called for better access to Centrelink or aged care data for trusted professionals.
In the lead-up to the election, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said Labor would be looking at a range of measures in the consumer data space, including improvements to the way advisers can access client information from the MyGov portal.
FPA chief executive Sarah Abood said any improvements in this area would certainly be welcomed by advisers, with the current arrangements making 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.
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.