A call for more accessible financial advice for Australians has been made by a cohort of financial advice leaders, who have said the industry must work to remove the barriers of rising costs and regulatory complexity.
The call was made in a new documentary, Solving wealth’s greatest challenge, produced by Hub24 and XY Adviser, which identified the major challenges preventing people accessing financial advice as rising costs and decreasing numbers of financial advisers, driven by the regulatory environment and little investment in technological solutions.
The documentary features Financial Planning Association chief executive Sarah Abood, Financial Services Council chief executive Blake Briggs, AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett, Investment Trends chief executive Sarah Brennan, Money Mentor’s Adele Martin, Caboodle Financial Services principal Peita Diamantidis, CoreData global chief executive Andrew Inwood and My Millennial Money podcast creator Glen James.
Hub24 chief executive Andrew Alcock said the industry and its providers have an obligation to work collaboratively in order to achieve more accessible financial advice options.
“Currently, we have a situation where a small percentage of Australians seek holistic advice from a regulated financial adviser and it’s becoming harder and more expensive to access that service. In effect, we are creating a have and have-not situation,” Alcock said.
“Without good financial advice, Australians miss out on the opportunity to plan for tomorrow, to have peace of mind, financial security and financial freedom.”
“We really need to consider, with the complexity of the environment we are in and all of the regulations and compliance, are we actually preparing Australians for the future?”
AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett further added that advisers and clients have faced the repercussions of a complex regulatory environment.
“If you put yourself in the shoes of an adviser today and the things they have to do before they can have a meaningful discussion about their client’s scenario and start helping them, there’s too much of a regulatory burden.”
Hub24 and XY Adviser said the documentary advised the way forward for the advice sector was to work together and alongside government and regulators to break down barriers to advice to prevent consumers becoming heavily reliant on the government for financial support and unable to understand the complexities of their finances.