Quality of Advice Review must ‘remove adviser and licensee fear’
An adviser association has called for the Quality of Advice Review to “remove adviser and licensee fear” following heavy regulation and compliance in recent years.
In a new opinion piece published by sister title ifa, The Advisers Association (TAA) CEO Neil Macdonald said the “highly-regulated” environment has seen government and regulators push an “anti-adviser bandwagon” which has advisers and licensees cautious of making even the most minor of errors.
“The fear of getting something wrong is compounded by multiple overlays of the same data and information being required by the client, the adviser, the licensee, product and service providers, trustees, ASIC, APRA, etc., at different times and in different and often unique ways,” Mr Macdonald wrote.
“The real cost of this situation is that access to affordable quality advice has become virtually impossible for everyday Australians. The cost for advised clients has also had to increase, even though the need for advice, the demand for advice and the number of consumers seeking advice are increasing.”
He argued that the QAR has a genuine opportunity to bring industry stakeholders, government and regulators together and collaborate on how to provide quality financial advice to Australians.
The opinion piece continues: “The new assistant Treasurer and financial services Minister, Stephen Jones, was recently quoted as saying he wants to fix the ‘hot mess’ that financial advising has become in this country, and quickly. He said he wants to stem the flow of advisers exiting the industry and stop advisers from having to jump through ‘crazy hoops’ in order to deliver advice, so that more Australians have access to high-quality, affordable financial advice.
“Mr Jones… we’re going to help you do that.”
Read the full piece here.
Last month, The Advisers Association featured in the Joint Associations Working Group’s (JAWG) QAR submission – made up of 11 other key associations such as the FPA, AFA and FSC – which called for a more consumer-focused regulatory approach, reduced costs and a better recognition of professional judgement for financial advisers.
Mr Macdonald said TAA’s biggest concern from the upcoming review is that financial planning is finally recognised as a profession.
“Since the Future of Financial Advice reforms came in, we've done everything the government asked us to do,” he said.
“We now have a code of ethics, we have a best interests duty, we have high minimum education standards, we have a dispute resolutions system. It’s time to respect the financial planning profession as a profession.”
Meanwhile just last week, TAA announced it will merge with the Authorised Representatives Association (ARA).