The livelihoods of Australian financial planners and consumers are on the line unless regulation within the sector is addressed, according to an industry body head.
Appearing during a House of Representatives standing committee on Thursday, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori noted regulatory reform, as well as market structures, major licensees exiting the industry and model changes an area that needs to be addressed by government.
“It’s the FPA’s view that in its approach to regulating financial advice, the government needs to consider the totality of these changes and how they’re affecting the long term viability of the financial planning profession and the costs and accessibility of financial advice to consumers,” Mr De Gori said in an opening statement.
“It is our belief that financial advice is in the national interest. It’s our belief that all Australians should have access to quality, trained financial planners.”
He concluded: “The time is now to take action and do something about it. The livelihoods of not only financial planners but of all Australians are on the line.”
Mr De Gori also discussed last week’s ASIC levy – which saw costs to the advice sector increase by more than $16 million – as a key area of concern.
Following up on comments he made last week about the figure, Mr De Gori said the FPA’s area of concern is the “formula” of the levy model.
“We don’t believe the way the formula is calculated and the way it is dispersed, is equitable and fair,” he told the committee.
“That’s the crux of this. We want that to be reviewed.
“It’s not only a declining number of advisers in the market place, but there are activities that we’re aware of that ASIC undertakes that have nothing to do with financial advisers, yet they’re placing that cost in the financial adviser levy bucket.”
Earlier in the standing committee, Liberal MP Jason Falinski called for the Hayne royal commission recommendations to be scrapped, arguing they only bring “harm and damage to ordinary Australian consumers”.
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