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Industry reforms could have been worse: AFA

In the face of criticism, the AFA has defended its role in the recent reforms of the life insurance advice sector, saying that its involvement avoided an even more draconian outcome.

During a video conference held yesterday, AFA national president Deborah Kent said that if the association had not become involved in the Life Insurance Framework discussions the government could have supported an entirely different outcome.

"We could [have] ended up with something like a nil commission [model]," Ms Kent said.

"There are still others out there that would rather see us have nothing, or [even] level commissions which was [recommended] in the FSI report."

AFA chief executive Brad Fox stressed that for the association to get insurers to agree to a hybrid commission model was a "major win".

"If we looked at the insurers first of all, and it is honestly not for us to say which insurer took which position... but it ranged from no commissions at all at one end, through to some saying actually the commissions aren't the issue and leave them where they are," he said.

"Would we have liked it to be higher than 66/22? – Yes, I think it should be. I still think it should be. But we couldn't get it there."


Mr Fox said that while the AFA had a seat at the discussion table, it was an "uncomfortable seat" to be in.

"The starting point for some of the arguments of where the outcomes could have been was just nonsensical," he said.

"I honestly don't know how we could have had an advised insurance market continue under some of the proposed outcomes."