financial advice

Industry bodies back QoA Review advice shift

Industry associations QAR

A collective of 13 industry bodies has backed a recommendation made in the Quality of Advice Review final report to reconsider who can provide financial advice.

A joint group of industry associations has agreed with a major recommendation in the final report of the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) that a broader consideration be given to who can provide advice.

The Joint Associations Working Group (JAWG), which consists of 13 industry bodies linked to the provision of financial advice, stated “it is time to fundamentally reform the advice regime to ensure consumers can get the advice they want and need”.

“In order to meet the advice needs of Australian consumers, we agree it’s time to think differently about who can provide financial advice and how that advice is provided, while ensuring consistent consumer protections by all advice providers,” the group stated.

It added the current regulatory framework, built by many years of reform designed to protect consumers, actually acted as an impediment to consumers accessing affordable advice.

“Retaining the status quo will only increase the advice gap, denying more Australians access to the financial advice they need to improve their financial well-being. This will be to the substantial detriment of many Australians,” it stated.

The first recommendation of the report was to expand the definition of what is personal financial advice and who could provide it while recognising the role qualified practitioners played in provider specific or more complex advice to consumers.

“We want this review to be a trigger to finding a real solution to what is a growing problem for many Australians. This report includes a comprehensive suite of recommendations, which together would address many of the current problems with the financial advice regulatory regime,” it said.

It said the review “has challenged the thinking of many, presenting very different ways to address long-standing problems”.

“It was never going to be easy to address the problems which Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones described as a ‘hot mess’ in June 2022,” it said.

“This report presents a framework to make those changes and to put the interests of consumers front and centre.”

The group consists of the SMSF Association, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Association of Financial Advisers, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Financial Services Council, CPA Australia, Boutique Financial Planning Principals Association, Institute of Public Accountants, Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Licensee Leadership Forum, Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association, The Advisers Association and CFA Societies Australia.

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