We believe in the role that financial advice makes in contributing to better outcomes for Australians and Australian families. We are pleased to participate in the consultation to provide insights and recommendations to support regulatory reform to overcome well documented barriers, such as the affordability and accessibility of financial advice for Australians across their lives and in the key times where they need help.
With the benefit of the learnings from the royal commission, the industry’s response and the current economic conditions, now is the time for regulators and industry bodies to collaborate constructively to rebuild optimism and confidence in the financial advice industry. This is required to benefit Australians in their financial decision making and ultimately help reduce the burden on the government funded welfare system.
In the past we tried to address how advice should be regulated. Instead, we think it is appropriate to flip the conversation, starting with the Customer perspective. How do we help more people make better financial decisions? Key financial issues for Australians continue to be: cost of living, housing affordability, debt management, retirement adequacy, spending in retirement, funding aged care, transference of wealth and adequacy of insurance arrangements.
The community wants “comfort and confidence” in making financial decisions and as an industry we need to create an environment with appropriate avenues to build that trust. To enable this we need to contemplate and build safe advice models which are flexible to consumer preferences, needs and financial circumstances.
In this response, we have proposed a concept of financial guidance and a reframing of product information and financial advice. These concepts are positioned to encourage greater participation by service providers and consequently Customer’s accessibility to help with their financial decision making.