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Access to advice a govt ‘aspiration’

In a passionate defence of the sector, Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has listed making financial advice more accessible to a greater number of Australians among his top priorities.

Speaking at an event in Sydney last night hosted by the Value Alliance – an initiative of financial services PR firms Pritchitt Partners and 64 Media – Senator Sinodinos opened up about the thinking behind the amendments to FOFA.

“The last thing we wanted – and this is where the rubber hits the road – was… a situation where we were raising the cost of actually providing advice and making it harder for Australians to actually get advice,” he said.

“One of my aspirations in this job is to make sure as many Australians as possible get access to affordable, good advice.”

The Assistant Treasurer said too many Australians are “making financial decisions for themselves in an ill-informed way” and that the government seeks to help the financial advice profession play a role in combating this social problem.

“Until you get someone sitting down with you … provoking the right sorts of questions, I don’t think you’re going to come to the [right] answers,” he said.

Commenting on Industry Super Australia’s call to hold a “thorough assessment” of the reforms – despite the fact that Treasury has already released a regulatory impact statement finding no adverse impact of the FOFA amendments on consumers – Mr Sinodinos said he was looking forward to “discussing the pros and cons” and having frank discussions with critics, both inside and outside parliament.