Accessible affordable advice priority for new ASIC chair

The corporate regulator’s new chair, Joe Longo, has committed to allowing Australians to get access to affordable financial advice.

Appearing at the Senate Economics Committee for the first time as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair on Wednesday, Longo said it was important for consumers and investors to be able to participate confidently in the country’s financial markets.

“The part I am concerned about in this sector is that it is important for consumers to have access to affordable financial services advice and it will be one of my priorities to see what can be done to address that issue,” he said.

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Longo noted the current system was complex and that there was a range of requirements financial advisers had to comply with.

“It’s a complex regime and the challenge for ASIC and policy makers is to figure out a way to make that regime more digestible and practical to the effect of consumers having affordable advice,” he said.

Longo also used his opening statement at the committee to announce that he would relocate from Perth to Melbourne for the role by 1 July.

“ASIC has agreed to pay the reasonable expenses associated with my onboarding and relocation,” he said.

“I have also taken steps to disclose my interests to the Treasurer and my fellow Commission members and have taken steps to manage potential conflicts of interests.”




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Sounds nice, but I heard his solution is robo advice.

Yep. He only said affordable advice, not affordable PROFESSIONAL advice.

Affordable advice is easy to achieve. Just turn a blind eye to dodgy, unlicensed advice. Which is what ASIC is already doing.

ASIC translation #1: we are going to make the work of financial planners easier by giving them much more compliance to undertake and prove the advice provided to clients is not complex!!!
ASIC translation #2: we are going to make advice more affordable by giving financial planners much more compliance to undertake and prove the advice provided to clients is not expensive!!!

So we have another useful idiot. Focus on cheap advice not quality advice and we will have another Royla Commission in 5 years. The FSC mut be estatic - they can go back to product sales and will get a pat on the back from ASIC.
Alternatively reward professional advisers with all the appropriate quals and experience by reducing the unnecessary red tape and allowing them to offer scaled advice with minimal documentation. Quality advice cannot be delivered by call centres set up to sell product by their owners

Spot on, Paul. Wait for the extra general advice 'carve outs' to allow the product flogging that got us into the mess in the first place.

Then the vertically integrated firms will cause all the same issues and all advisers will get tarnished with the same brush.

Reality is, they should be relaxing the rules for scaled and strategic advice as you have said. If nothing gets relaxed, what was the point of FASEA or education standards... Unless they're suggesting these achieved nothing in raising the bar within the industry.

Totally agreed - what's the point of all these hoops we're jumping through again?

To be a profession, I think?

Well, a profession is a two-sided thing - we accept a greater burden of responsibility and expertise in order to serve in the public interest IN RETURN FOR a range of enhanced benefits, like public trust, greater remuneration and a higher degree of autonomy.

Which is why the last decade of spaghetti regulation is so frustrating - it's belted us with the first leg, and completely ignored the second one.

Just need him to disclose he's not on any robo boards if not too much to ask.

Affordable advice - the cost to research (being on hold for hours at a time), then to pay for para-planning - to give a 22 year old, insurance advice - make it impossible. It's also impossible to provide affordable advice on a simple investment plan for a 22 year old.

"... have taken steps to manage potential conflicts of interests.”" that's more than FASEA would let an adviser do. Lead by example, have no conflicts.

“I have also taken steps to disclose my interests to the Treasurer and my fellow Commission members and have taken steps to manage potential conflicts of interests.”

So what are these conflicts you have?
And what conflicts do the other Commissioners have?
Perhaps ASIC would like to share?
Are they independent?

He should fit in nicely in the Socialist Republic of Public Servants that is Victoria. How typically, beurocratic, create a massive problem and then make it your priority to solve it.

In 20 plus years of ever increasing BS Regs and Red Tape from ASIC and the LNP, we have never seen ASIC or LNP actually help Real Advisers.
They have only hindered and strangled.
As you say the disaster ASIC now ask Advisers how to fix. Seriously, these clowns couldn’t run a chook raffle, can’t see them fixing this Gordian Knot of compliance nightmares.
Especially as they will listen to Industry Super, Choice Mag and themselves, the exact people who helped put us in this rubbish

So what is he referring to here?

“I have also taken steps to disclose my interests to the Treasurer and my fellow Commission members and have taken steps to manage potential conflicts of interests.”

I'm assuming he means he has thought about doing it (taken steps) but clearly he has not actually disclosed or managed his conflicts - I think, who knows. Clear language like this from ASIC is normal stuff - straight answers are not.

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