The head of one of the country’s largest financial planning dealer groups has warned the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) objective of providing more affordable and accessible financial advice may not be met if the government only enacts the recommendations from the report that are easiest to implement.
“I think it is a real risk [if the government adopts this approach]. I think it is a genuine risk,” Insignia Financial chief executive Renato Mota told attendees of the Elevate Digital education program opening session today.
Further, Mota noted there will be wider implications for Australian society if this goal of the review is not met.
“It would be a significant missed opportunity [should the government only adopt the easiest recommendations to implement]. The point to make here is that if we fail to make advice more affordable and accessible, ultimately the impact of that is actually on the public purse,” he said.
“[That is because] people who are not able to have an empowerment of their own financial affairs will ultimately fall back onto the public purse later in life.”
However, he pointed out the QAR should not be seen as an instant remedy that will solve all of the challenging issues present in the current financial advice framework.
To this end, he suggested the advice industry should be taking action now to address some of the more troublesome matters, such as reducing the associated complexity.
“Forms are a great example of where [the industry] should be doing more together – working together as participants for the betterment of our clients collectively,” he said.
He outlined the type of regulatory landscape that would assist in the industry’s ability to do this.
“I think an environment with lower regulatory change intensity [will] provide us with the opportunity to collaborate more and spend more time working together in solving some of these [issues],” he said.
“We should not view the QAR as some sort of silver bullet that will magically fix anything. We need to get on with it now. We need to focus on the things we can control and actually continue to improve the system.”