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Advisers losing political battle

An investment analyst who works closely with advisers has lashed out at government regulation of the industry, saying financial planners need more political clout.

The financial planning industry is being given undue attention by politicians due to the organised lobbying abilities of other segments of the financial services sector, Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham told ifa.

“The big companies and the industry super funds are constantly in the ear of government and that’s not in the interests of your local and independent financial planner to create a better service,” he said.

“The [Financial Planning Association] tries to lobby government and does a good job but can’t compete with the big money and the organised lobbying of the industry super and managed funds,” he added.

While Gillham conceded some of the government regulations of the financial advice space are worthwhile – including the Bill enshrining the term ‘financial planner’ and elements of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) – Gillham said government focus on the industry was “narrow” and that consumers could be better served through regulation of other industries.

“The government keeps banging on about FOFA but not that many Australians actually have a financial adviser,” he said.

“By contrast, the biggest financial decision most Australians will ever make is the family home and yet the government doesn’t focus anywhere near as much on mortgage brokers or builders, even though many more people experience being ripped off by these people than by financial planners.”