The FSC wants to see all advice broken into either general or personal categories and the abolition of statements of advice, which would be replaced with concise and consumer-oriented “letters of advice”.
“The burden of compliance is doing nothing to help consumers, it’s actually putting advice beyond the means of average Australians, and driving advisers out of the sector,” said FSC CEO Sally Loane.
“Our aim with these proposals is to lower the cost of providing financial advice to make it simpler for consumers to understand and access, all without undermining the quality of advice or eroding important consumer protections.”
The FSC Green Paper, Affordable and Accessible Advice, also recommends abolishing the administratively complex “safe harbour” steps so that the Code of Ethics is the single tool for complying with best interests duty, and is part of a move by the lobby group to lead the public policy debate on the governing and professionalisation of advice.
“We are keen to hear from a wide range of stakeholders, particularly advisers. As leaders in policy development, we have a great opportunity to reset the system for affordable, quality and professional financial advice, a critical component in enhancing the savings, wealth and peace of mind for every Australian,” Ms Loane said.
“The status quo will mean advice will consolidate in the wealthy elite, and will remain out of reach for the average consumer.”
More to come.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.