Associations should lobby, advisers demand

As the royal commission questions the business model of the advice associations, ifa readers have given a clear indication they expect their representatives to lobby for political outcomes.

Asked for their “preferred way to lobby for legislative change”, almost three-quarters (72.2 per cent) of the 2,416 respondents to a recent ifa straw poll indicated they want their “professional association” to fulfil this role.

The finding follows the appearance of both FPA chief executive Dante De Gori and AFA chief executive Philip Kewin at the royal commission’s second round of hearings last week.

Counsel assisting the royal commission Rowena Orr asked both CEOs whether there is an “inherent conflict” in their operating models – pointing to tension between the roles of representing and regulating financial advisers.

Similarly, FPA chair Neil Kendall recently told ifa that his organisation will lobby for member outcomes where change is “up for grabs”, but not where legislation is already passed, seemingly at odds with the findings of the poll.

The second most preferable method was “individual efforts lobbying MPs and policymakers” which received 12.3 per cent of the vote.

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After participating in the poll, a Canberra-based adviser with knowledge of the party political process told ifa these efforts are best attempted when combined with hiring a professional registered lobbyist.

Slightly fewer respondents (11 per cent) indicated they would prefer to lobby for legislative change via their dealer group, while just 0.5 per cent responded with a preference for a financial product manufacturer to lobby on their behalf.

The remainder (4.1 per cent) said they “do not believe in lobbying for legislative change”.

The findings come as the industry faces the possibility of a new wave of regulation in the wake of evidence provided to the royal commission.

Associations should lobby, advisers demand
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