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Advisers feel unprepared for opt-in

A number of financial advisers are not feeling prepared to meet the FOFA opt-in provisions which come into effect on July 1 2015 according to a straw poll conducted by ifa.

In the survey readers were asked whether they were feeling prepared to meet the opt-in requirements, which comprise a part of the FOFA reforms.

Of the 167 readers who responded, 116 (69.5 per cent) said they did not feel prepared to meet the requirements by 1 July.

This contrasts with the 51 advisers (30.5 per cent) of respondents who said they were feeling ready.

FPA general manager of policy and conduct Dante De Gori told ifa it did not "surprise" him that most advisers and licensees were unprepared.

"The advice I would give to members, and advisers in general, is to make every attempt to do the right thing to get there because that demonstrates your willingness to comply rather than just saying this is too hard. You have just got to show you are doing it," Mr De Gori said.

Of the advisers who had prepared for opt-in, Scanlon Richardson Financial Group's director and AFA director for Tasmania, Matthew Hawkins, told ifa his business made the "prudent" decision to implement opt-in requirements across its whole network.


"When the business was established, we wanted to ensure we offered our clients a clear, transparent, tangible fee structure with a clear correlation between service and fee," he said.

"We also wanted to ensure continued accountability to our clients for their prescribed service agreement.

"By implementing the opt-in renewal notice for our entire client base we can ensure continued engagement from all our fee-paying clients, as it is our belief that the relationship between an adviser and client is a two-way obligation," he said.

Pursue Wealth's director, Sam Robinson, said her business had taken a number of approaches to getting prepared for the opt-in requirements.

"Our initial preparation for opt-in was based on educating our members around the new process," Ms Robinson said.

"This includes explaining how important it is to have a meeting to review and sign the opt-in letter to continue our relationship.

"We [also] decided the opt-in engagement letter will become part of our standard process during every review meeting with our members – regardless if their ongoing package is for quarterly, six months or annual reviews," she said.