financial advice

Bold advice framework changes possible

advice changes

The implementation of bold measures may be undertaken by the government in order to reduce administrative costs and make financial advice more affordable.

The Labor government is willing to make bold changes in order to cut the administration costs financial advisers currently face and in turn make the provision of advice more affordable to Australians.

Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones confirmed this position during his presentation at the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) National Congress 2022 on the Gold Coast today in response to a question expressing concerns from the professional body’s membership about the issue.

“At the IPA we [conducted] a huge survey when ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) was going through its paper on encouraging Australians to access affordable advice and it was quite obvious that what was leading to increased costs in terms of providing advice was the compliance burden,” IPA advocacy and policy group executive Vicki Stylianou revealed.

“So do you think there might be an appetite to go bold on some of these reforms and pull out some of the things that are adding to the costs [of providing advice] through the compliance burden?”

Jones responded: “One word answer, yes.”

During the same session, the minister was asked to share his thoughts on what the role of accountants in providing financial advice might be as a result of the current Quality of Advice Review, but he would not be drawn into making comment as the process had not been completed.

“The accountants have obviously an incredibly important role, particularly in providing advice to small businesses, but to all Australians [as well],” he said.

“Your association has made submissions to the Levy review on how you can play a role in ensuring Australians get access to the quality of the financial advice that they need. I’ve been at pains not to engage in public commentary on the matters that are currently being considered by Michelle Levy in her very public, transparent and thorough review.

“I do that for two reasons. As soon as I start making comments, I’ll be essentially be opening up a second and parallel process of review to the one that Michelle’s got underway. But also out of respect to Michelle and all the submitters to that review, and I think it behoves all of us to let her continue her work.”

He said he expected to receive the final report from the Quality of Advice Review in December.

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