ASIC wants industry to improve advice access

ASIC has called on the advice industry to come up with limited advice solutions, while saying an upcoming consultation would improve the situation and that it didn’t want to see “80-page SOAs”.

Kate Metz, ASIC senior executive leader for financial advisers, flagged that ASIC would soon be putting out a consultation paper to determine the obstacles the industry faced in providing limited advice in an attempt to overcome the burgeoning advice gap.

“Time and time again we hear from consumers that they want to be able to access affordable and limited advice,” Ms Metz told the AFA Vision conference.

“We also know that some segments of the industry find it really hard to provide.”

Ms Metz touted research from 2010 as evidence that the regulator had been working towards improving advice access for some time and said that while “a lot of the thinking in that work is still reasonably current”, ASIC wanted to hear about what it could change – while also calling on the industry to do more.

“The reason why I say that is because ASIC has given guidance in the past saying that we really support limited or scaled advice, we’ve given examples, and we are hearing from some quarters that licensees don’t really want advisers in that space,” Ms Metz said.

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“I don’t know how widespread that is but it is certainly a view we have been hearing more frequently.”

She also said that advisers should be more willing to provide limited advice and shouldn’t wait on ASIC to give the go-ahead.

“There’s this misapprehension that ASIC is there to crack down on everybody,” Ms Metz said.

“Where we take action against people it’s for really egregious conduct. The vast majority of financial advisers do the right thing. We want advisers to use their professional judgement. We want advisers to be able service their clients in a sensible way. We don’t want to see long documents, we don’t want to see 80-page SOAs.”

But Ms Metz also conceded that ASIC needed to do more by simplifying some of the guidance it had given and that it was looking actively at better ways to communicate with industry participants.

ASIC wants industry to improve advice access
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