Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Fintech Jane Hume has praised the advice industry for improving unity in its lobbying efforts, as she flagged “progress” in the direction of regulatory reform coming in 2021.
Addressing the FSC Future of Advice Summit on Tuesday, Ms Hume said industry division over the past few years had made it difficult for government to get clarity on which reforms to prioritise, but that the advice sector was now “beginning to speak with one voice”.
“You’ve got advisers that are in the FPA, AFA, you’ve got [stock]brokers, insurance advisers, so trying to get everyone to be on the same page has been quite difficult,” Ms Hume said.
“But I tip my hat to the industry that they have done such a good job speaking with one voice lately, and that has made an enormous difference.”
Ms Hume said without the need to “play favourites”, the government felt it had made “progress in the direction” of relaxing red tape for advisers.
“Some of this you may not have seen yet because we have had a significant COVID interruption,” she said.
“We are getting better alignment of not just objectives, but there’s a collective will from regulators, bodies and advisers themselves, and that is a really good start.”
While further legislative reforms were to be added next year with the introduction of the single disciplinary body and compensation scheme of last resort, Ms Hume said the government was equally committed to “opportunities for red tape reduction, identifying obstacles to productivity and profitability, and reducing the burden on your industry and its participants”.
“Not only do we have a minister for deregulation who has been focused on this area, but also the Treasurer – now that the COVID recovery programs are out there and the budget has been handed down, he is turning his attention to this very area,” she said.
“We want to make sure as many Australians can get access to advice as widely as possible. In order to do that we have to make sure those in the industry can see more clients and provide them with advice in a profitable and effective way.”
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