financial advice

Quick advice review assessment needed

FPA advice review

The FPA has called on the government to quickly assess the final report from the Quality of Advice Review submitted last Friday.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has urged Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones to quickly assess any of the recommendations submitted by the Quality of Advice Review with a view to reducing the regulatory burden and unnecessary associated costs financial advisers are currently having to manage.

“The review is a critical opportunity to reduce the cost of providing advice in Australia and improve the ability of Australians to get access to high-quality professional financial advice,” FPA chief executive Sarah Abood said.

“While we are waiting to see the final recommendations, our members were encouraged by those made in the proposal paper earlier this year, including a more principles-based approach to regulating the provision of financial advice.

“The FPA believes the regulatory costs of providing personal advice must come down to help improve the affordability of advice for consumers and ensure there is a level playing field for the regulatory requirements and standards imposed on advice providers.”

Further, Abood suggested financial advisers and planning practices should be able to provide affordable services to meet consumer demand under the regulatory framework.

The industry body pointed out the new rules governing the provision of financial advice should build consumer confidence in the advice industry through high professional standards, appropriate education and training, accountability and transparent regulation.

In addition, it called for the amended regulatory system to be fair and equitable and reduce the input costs regarding the provision of advice, facilitate an increase in the providers of financial advice, ensure the accountability of all financial advice providers and maintain adequate consumer protection.

According to Abood, the amended regulatory environment must take the competitiveness of the industry into account and must not provide a competitive advantage to one advice provider over another.

“Importantly, only ‘relevant providers’ who meet the professional standards should be legally permitted to use the terms financial planner and financial adviser and like terms,” she said.

Michelle Levy’s final report from the Quality of Advice Review was forwarded to the government last Friday.

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