Opposition keen to repair advice industry

The federal opposition has expressed its willingness to engage with the advice industry to address the worsening advice gap that will occur as more advisers exit the industry on the back of the FASEA reforms.

Addressing the SMSF Association National Conference 2020 in the Gold Coast on Thursday, opposition financial services spokesman Stephen Jones said the forms had been a “rollercoaster ride” for the industry and poorly implemented, leaving Australians with less access to advice when they needed it most.

“More than 4,000 advisers have left the sector since the end of 2018, when FASEA’s standards were finally published – mere days before they were due to come into effect,” Mr Jones said.

“More will leave in the years to come. The net consequence of this is that at the very time when access to professional, quality advice is most needed, it is becoming harder to get.”

Mr Jones said Labor wanted to engage with the industry and regulators on how it could address the worsening advice gap.

“We want to see all Australians able to access high-quality financial advice – about their retirements, about their investment needs, about their insurance,” he said.

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“Impartial and affordable retirement income advice should be available to all Australians – including low and middle income earners with modest retirement savings.”

However, Mr Jones confirmed it was Labor’s view that there was no place for any form of commissions in the industry, saying advice had to be “decoupled from the sales process”.

He also said the advice sector had a role to play in tandem with the government on educating Australians around financial literacy.

“I am keen to hear your views as to how we can build a better future for your industry. And I am keen to work with you over the next few years to shape that future,” Mr Jones said.

Opposition keen to repair advice industry
Stephen Jones
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