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‘This has to be a 2-way street’: What advisers can do to help industry

ASIC chair Joe Longo has called on advisers’ assistance in ensuring the future of the industry.

Speaking at the Association of Financial Advisers’ (AFA) conference on Tuesday, Mr Longo laid out the corporate regulator’s goals moving forward, including an adviser hub on its website, but said financial planners must also play a part.

“This has to be a two-way street,” Mr Longo said.

“So I’d like to leave you with three suggestions. One, you can continue to focus on the interests of your clients. Two, you can continue to cultivate and advance your industry’s value proposition. Three, you can comply with the spirit of the new laws.”

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Mr Longo said he is “optimistic” about the future of the advice sector despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and extended lockdowns around Australia and pinpointed upcoming regulations to be introduced on next month, including changes to information sharing, breach reporting and hawking.

One widely praised inclusion in the upcoming regulations is the removal of the requirement for financial advisers to report “nil complaints”.

“Financial advice is crucial — even more so during the current pandemic,” Mr Longo continued.

“And while I know that the introduction of new professional standards has caused some angst among the adviser community, I am confident that these changes will be beneficial to advisers and clients.

“So as we look towards the future, the lines of communication must remain open in both directions.

“Not just for the financial health of Australians, but for the benefit of the industry as a whole.”

Appearing on the ifa Show earlier this month, Coastal Advice Group CEO Daniel Brown said collaboration between the industry and regulators is essential, as there are “politicians making decisions about things that they have no idea”.

However, Mr Brown added that those in the industry also have the opportunity to “step up”.

“There’s potentially 2 million customers from banks that no longer have an adviser, and if the adviser numbers are down and at least half of them are looking for a new home, if you can be found and trusted… there’s a great opportunity in front of us,” he said.

“So, for me, I’m maybe too optimistic sometimes, but I’m a big believer that financial advice and getting it to more Australians is going to be beneficial to us in the future without the banks involved, and perhaps then ASIC [will] take the foot off our throats a bit more.”

Listen to the full podcast with Mr Brown here.

‘This has to be a 2-way street’: What advisers can do to help industry
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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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