Scaled advice is an important “middle-ground” option for consumers, but needs to be relabelled as "Product Advice" to avoid confusion, according to TAL.
In a submission to the Financial System Inquiry, the life insurer noted its support for scaled advice to allow clients to receive a level of advice appropriate to their financial needs.
“To help consumers navigate through the different forms of advice that is available, advice labels should be renamed to provide greater clarity,” TAL said in a statement.
“Specifically, general advice should be renamed Product Information, scaled advice renamed Product Advice while Personal Advice (or full advice) should remain unchanged.”
TAL’s submission also called for higher standards for financial planners via mandatory certification, minimum university education qualifications, a national register and ongoing training.
The group noted that it “has actively promoted this view” through its advice arm, Affinia Financial Advisers.
TAL also reiterated its concern over funeral insurance products having stepped premiums customers with income-tested government benefits on fixed incomes, by stressing the need for an enhancement of ASIC powers in regard to product intervention powers.
“We are seeking changes to allow consumers to have greater flexibility and ease to both obtain and maintain financial protection, and to enhance their confidence by improving various standards,” TAL Group chief executive Jim Minto said.
“Life insurance not only protects the lives people have already created but it protects the future they imagine.
“To do this we are seeking strong consumer protection and regulatory oversight, enhanced advice delivery and effectiveness, and to give consumers access to more innovative and contemporary products that better meet their needs via the technology they are using today and in the future.”
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