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Red tape shutting out potential advice clients

The introduction of new regulations is pushing up the cost of advice and shutting out Australians from seeing a financial adviser, says William Buck.

William Buck director Chris Kennedy said the “ongoing appetite” for regulating financial advice is increasing the cost of advice, which is in turn “working against those it is designed to protect”.

“One of the things that FOFA was designed to do was make sure the ‘little guy’ would have access to advice, but what it has actually done to a degree is cut them out because the burden of the legislation has pushed up adviser costs,” Mr Kennedy said.

“It is taking advisers significantly more time to carry out all of the tasks required to comply with the regulations so seeking financial advice has become more expensive,” he said.

Mr Kennedy pointed out the growing appetite for regulating the industry was being driven by the actions of “a few bad advisers” which is leading to good advisers and consumers “paying the price”.

“Within big institutions where there is a vertically-integrated model there are conflicts, but that doesn’t reflect the industry as a whole,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Most financial planning practices are good practices [and] are already looking after their client’s best interests. They don’t need legislation to make them do that,” he said.

“This industry saves the government a lot of money. We provide people with good advice to grow their asset base so they’re not reliant on the government,” Mr Kennedy said.