An expected government announcement failed to materialise at the AFA Conference, but the assistant minister assured financial advisers that the government is listening.
Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Financial Technology, appeared at the Association of Financial Advisers’ Conference in Adelaide and told the audience that the government was listening.
“The government is listening to your concerns and we want to assure you that we are carefully considering how we will proceed,” said Ms Hume.
Ms Hume, who has a financial advice background, said the concerns in the industry were justified and the government was working towards a solution.
“We have heard your concerns and we acknowledge your fears and they are reasonable. We are continuing to work with you and we will consult with you on the implementation of the new requirements to ensure a smooth transition,” said Ms Hume.
To many at the AFA the assurance was not what they were expecting, as many had hoped for an extension to the FASEA deadline.
"I think like me you were hoping to hear a positive announcement today. You've heard Senator Hume is listening and the work we're doing around the FASEA deadline is having an impact," said Philip Kewin, AFA's chief executive.
When asked why there was no announcement, Ms Hume continued the government line and said there were still concerns around accessibility.
"I think we can say that we have heard the concerns and some of my concerns around the deadlines are really more about accessibility," she said.
Ms Hume also said that the government did not want a mass exodus from the adviser industry due to the changing standards and they would continue to work with the industry to find a path for older advisers.
"We want to make sure we have a sustainable financial advice industry and we don't want to see mass exodus from the industry because of that. We think that this is a fair and reasonable process but we want to make sure that everyone has the time to feel like they can achieve it,” she said.
Older advisers were needed in the industry, said Ms Hume, as the young advisers were the future but needed that experience to guide them.
“Younger advisers tend to be more open minded as they have many of the qualifications already but older advisers have skills that are invaluable, particularly in their roles as mentors,” she said.
“We need to ensure that the standards that are set and that we impose are suitable for existing advisers and the older, established advisers.”
There was space for existing advisers that have experience, said Ms Hume, and hopefully they would find a way to remain in the industry.
“I would love to see a role for those experience older advisers, whether it be mentoring or some sort of coaching role,” she said.
Ms Hume said that the advice industry had to change, as the consumers deserved it.
“These skills, on ethics and professionalism, are necessary, this is not up for debate. Consumers deserve no less,” she said.
However, Ms Hume did remain open to adjusting the changes in the industry and everyone needed to work together.
“We know that advisers are doing it tough and we are not ignoring them. We have heard your message loud and clear. Stick with us, don’t lose faith and we want to work with you because you are an important part of the financial system,” she added.
Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms.
Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.
Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).
You can email him on: [email protected]
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