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Industry lobbyists ‘overabundant’

Financial services “interest groups” are putting their own interests ahead of consumers and the wider industry, according to M&A consultant Paul Tynan.

In a statement issued last night, the business broker and industry commentator said that the debate around the amendments to FOFA demonstrates that a “balanced approach and outcome” are needed in the financial advice industry.

“It’s not government that’s the cause of the problems and complaints that have been directed towards FOFA but the overabundance of self-interest groups lobbying intensely to ensure that the interests of their particular sector, company or association are met – even if above those of the industry or consumer,” Mr Tynan said.

The “$1.6-plus trillion” pool of Australian retirement savings is the underlying reason why “all the special interest groups comprising institutions, advisers, associations, fund managers etc. have been so active through their lobbyists and lobbying activities”, he claimed.

“There’s a lot at stake,” Mr Tynan added.

The consultant, who heads Connect Financial Services Brokers, called for a balance between “cost remuneration and consumer protection”; “large institutions and boutique providers”, “vertical integration and independent advice” and “a balance between the interest of all parties and the ultimate objective of providing professional advice to consumers”.

Mr Tynan concluded that a “more balanced” approach to advice provision may see the “nearly 70 per cent” of consumers not currently in advice relationships seek the services of a professional adviser.