Financial advisers need a break to digest regulation and focus on their business without waiting for the “next regulatory hit”, according to shadow minister for financial services, Stephen Jones.
Speaking at the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) conference in Sydney, Labor’s Jones said the industry had been through a “tsunami” of change in the past few years.
“You’ve been through a tsunami of regulatory change; it didn’t start with the Royal Commission but that turbocharged things. We don’t apologise for spending a lot of time on the Royal Commission, but we do acknowledge now is the time to go forward, not backward.
“We want to see all these regulatory and legislative changes digested so there’s some breathing space. There’s a whole lot of stuff that hasn’t been digested and we want to give you the opportunity to do that as we go into an even more uncertain time.
“We don’t need the sector looking over its shoulder for the next regulatory hit. What you need to be doing is focusing on the interest of the people that you invest on behalf of and to be focused on that.”
He added that a lot of change had been “politically-driven” and that was distracting the industry from their day job, particularly in the superannuation space.
“A lot of noise coming out of Parliamentary oversight committees has been, unfortunately, politically driven and has required the sector to be distracted from their day job, which is about ensuring members are getting great returns and that the funds are properly governed. Dealing with politically-motivated attacks, this needs to stop.
“If you’ve got a sector with $3 trillion in assets, which will move to $5 trillion over the life of the next Parliament, then you absolutely need strong regulation that is in the public interest.
“But there are other things that need to be focused on instead of super wars and political hits.”