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Licensees hide reps from risk report

Former NAB executive Wayne Handley has detected that a “surprising” number of advisers who are not across ASIC’s review of risk advice, pointing the finger squarely at licensees.

The managing director of non-aligned licensee Bombora Advice issued a statement on Friday claiming that the corporate regulator’s recent risk and life insurance report provides an opportunity to “grasp the nettle”, but added that many advisers may still be ignorant of the findings.

“In speaking to a number of advisers Handley was surprised to learn that so many were unaware of the interim report and this was a concern as all licensees should have drawn the report to the attention of their respective networks – particularly given its significance,” said a statement from Bombora.

Mr Handley said that any industry response needs to be driven by practising advisers, since they have an “intimate understanding of consumers” and are “the ones managing the claims and other related issues”.

While the former Apogee boss applauded the establishment of the joint AFA-FSC working group, he said the time has come for practitioners to get involved, urging them to put forward submissions.

“The nuances and dynamics of providing risk advice are often not clearly understood and it’s our task and responsibility as practitioners to change this,” he said.

“An opportunity to provide a balanced and considered perspective and insight into the provision of financial advice should never be taken lightly or ignored.”

ASIC's review found "unacceptable failure" in the provision of risk advice, though a number of stakeholders including the AFA have questioned the methodology behind the report.