financial advice

FPA wants rapid QoA Review response

FPA QoA response

The FPA has called on the government to implement a number of the Quality of Advice Review recommendations as quickly as it can.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has called on the federal government to implement as many of the recommendations of the final report from the Quality of Advice (QoA) Review as quickly as it possibly can.

In particular, the industry body, which welcomed the report, singled out three of the 22 recommendations it feels can be implemented with considerable speed.

“[Financial Services] Minister [Stephen] Jones has previously stated that he was looking for ‘quick wins’. We believe that recommendations eight, simplifying ongoing fee consent, nine, removing overly prescriptive requirements on how advice must be presented to clients, and 13.7, maintaining the ability for clients to choose how they pay for life insurance advice, are quick wins,” FPA chief executive Sarah Abood suggested.

“These recommendations are broadly supported across the sector and have the potential to quickly improve consumer outcomes. They will also enable financial advisers and planners to provide advice more quickly and lower the costs involved in doing so.”

With regard to the QoA Review report in general, the FPA recognised review head Michelle Levy had acted upon the feedback she received from advisers as part of the process.

“She believes, and we agree, that significant changes are needed to the way advice is provided in order to meet the needs of Australian consumers,” Abood noted.

“She has also been consistent in recognising that financial advisers and planners are professionals and should be recognised and treated as such under the law, that quality financial advice is important and valuable, and that more Australians must be able to access it.

“We particularly welcome her recommendations on simplifying ongoing fee arrangements and enabling planners to consult and agree with clients how they would like their advice to be delivered.”

To this end, the FPA was particularly pleased with the recommendations to reduce the current statement of advice (SOA) impost placed on practitioners.

“The FPA has been working with members for many years on improving ways to deliver advice, including innovative and more client-friendly initiatives such as video statements of advice (SOA). We are pleased Ms Levy has come to a similar conclusion about the issues with the current SOA regime,” Abood noted.

“These changes would allow financial planners to speed up the advice process and give consumers more relevant information, also offering the real potential to meaningfully reduce the costs involved in providing advice.”

She said the FPA was looking forward to working with the government on the report’s other recommendations and was optimistic implementation will receive bipartisan support.

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