A group of advisers say they have had to increase their fees, invest in technology and introduce extra services in response to the changing regulatory environment.
ifa’s latest straw poll shows that 50.3 per cent of the 453 advisers surveyed said they had to increase their fees due to new regulation.
Just under half (49.7 per cent) said they have not increased their fees due to recent changes in regulation.
MyPlanner managing director Philippa Sheehan said the changing regulatory environment has meant her firm has had to invest heavily in technology and the building of workflows.
“Investing in people, processes and systems will ensure that we are not only meeting the never-ending requirements standards, but that we are also able to be increasingly efficient and effective as margins get tighter,” Ms Sheehan said.
Stream Financial principal adviser Tim Van Doore said that, as a business based on insurance advice, he had to introduce new services.
"It would have been irresponsible for us to ignore the potential for further changes with insurance revenue and we started making changes to our business well before the more recent Life Insurance Reforms," he said.
"As a result, it has been important to redefine our service offering and what our value proposition is for our clients. This has led to the introduction of holistic financial planning and mortgage broking to our client base.
“My desire was to stay as a dedicated insurance advice business, but we simply would not be able to extend our same level of service, including claims management, within the new environment without incorporating fees,” Mr Van Doore said.
Main Street Financial Solutions principal and private adviser Rebecca Fergusson noted that regulatory change is inevitable as the advice industry transitions towards becoming a profession.
“We have directed resources to improving client value propositions, better understanding client needs, client engagement and how to cost effectively service each customer segment,” Ms Fergusson said.
“We also constantly review our compliance obligations, risk management processes, marketing materials and IT systems, as well as refining the products and services we offer.”
However, Omniwealth managing director Matthew Kidd said the new regulatory environment hasn’t really had an impact on its business.
“We have welcomed the new professional standards bill as a good thing,” Mr Kidd said.
“I find it amusing that we actually have to legislate for people to be professional.
“Raising education standards is the easiest thing to do, ensuring that by a certain time in the future everyone who wants to call themselves a financial adviser must have a related degree and do all the right tests is absolutely the way to do it.”
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