The industry and government have not addressed the mental health burden it has placed on financial advisers and it is a huge loss to lose quality advisers due to anxiety, according to an adviser.
HH Wealth director and financial adviser, Chris Holme, said he had numerous conversations with good advisers that wanted to leave the industry due to stress and anxiety rather than education or compliance obligations.
“They're just so burnt out and depressed and anxious. They’re dealing with so much stress that they can't do it as it's hugely sad to me that’s happening,” he said.
“It would be a huge loss to the industry and I just can't believe it's because of anxiety, stress and depression. I think it's a huge issue that that hasn't really been addressed.”
Holme said while it was a good thing the Government was trying to improve outcomes for clients it had not realised how much it had put on the shoulders of advisers.
“It just seems like there's no break to it. It seems like that we get over one hurdle and then there's something else that then gets implemented or another piece of legislation that gets pushed towards us,” he said.
“Don't get me wrong I'm a huge advocate for improving advice. I was looking through all these things got wow, actually, all of this sort of stuff actually happened within the like the last 12 months it's a huge amount of change and a huge amount of obligations that we need to be across.”
Holme noted another factor was that despite all the changes in short succession, the outcome for not complying were civil penalties and that was another stress inducing factor.
“There’s civil penalties for not being across it and there's no transition period for. You're either as part of the obligations or you're in trouble – that is also stressful to people,” he said.
“I don't have an issue with the legislation it's just the fact that it's happened all so quickly and that it's built up and built up. There's a few advisers that are going ‘I just can't, I can't keep shouldering this, run a practice, being able to look after my clients, and myself and my mental health’.”
For Holme, while he was also to keep up with all the new obligations, he would not be able to have a positive view on everything if not for his licensee, Spark Financial Group.
“I wouldn't be able to have a positive view on all this sort of stuff without the fact that they've actually helped us through everything. It's huge – the amount of support they're throwing at us,” Holme said.
“They are on the front foot straightaway to communicate to us exactly what the obligations are and they put a process in place to help us to make sure that we meet them. While it's in their best interest obviously to do that, the amount of communication definitely helps with being on top of everything and actually being a little bit more relaxed about things or at least positive about it.
“When we're going through enhanced fee disclosure statement and opt in obligations and things like that we were having almost twice weekly teleconferences to go through it.”