AFA insists Choice withdraw its slur on advisers

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) chief executive, Phil Kewin has said he will be demanding that consumer group Choice withdraws an assertion that financial advisers can rarely be trusted to act in a client’s best interests in dealing with people seeking early access to superannuation. 

Kewin has been angered by a statement by Choice Policy and Campaigns Adviser Patrick Veyret that “it will only be in vary rare circumstances that a financial adviser recommending early access of superannuation is doing so in your best interests”. 

The AFA chief executive said he regarded the statement as both unfair and unjustified and highly unhelpful at a time when financial advisers were doing their best to help people navigate the complex issues generated by COVID-19 and the Government’s response. 

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“I will be asking him to withdraw the statement. It is unhelpful and irresponsible,” Kewin said. 

The AFA chief executive said the Choice statement was unfortunate because the AFA was broadly supportive of the argument being put by consumer groups that early access to superannuation should only be sought as a last resort. 

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Disgusting comment by Patrick Veyret. What a horrible thing to say.

I suppose we should expect such comments from those with little to no knowledge nor experience re Financial Services...especially when their revenues come from product providers. Conflicted Remuneration much?

Yeah, But if its the same advice from a Real estate agent or Accountant then obviously the advice is in the best interests of the client.

Alos, I m sure that backpackers working at the call centres for Australian Super take Best Interests Duty into account when they recommend switching an existing super policy to their poorly performing fund with their JUNK INSURANCE. Im sure that these call centre sales reps let the client know that they will lose all their insurances and be unable to claim if they cancel their existing cover.

that's if the Australian Super call centre ever start taking calls again!

choice is a toxic organization. they are going down in flames.

I know I take great offense at this statement and I am sure that every adviser, I am sure is working their hardest with only client welfare in mind

And to think that Choice are represented on the FASEA Board. It's no wonder there are elements of the FASEA reforms that are targeted and discriminatory against advisers.

Every adviser and representative body should enforce a total retraction and apology or commence strong litigation against the individual. Nothing more than a total retraction and apology is slander and personally damaging to all advisers. That amounts to a strong case to sue the bastard who is hiding behind the position within choice. It is our legal right to sue for such ignorant slander.

You have to remember that this organisation were invited to lodge a submission with the Royal Commission. It was one dimensional (stop commissions) without any thought on the unintended consequences!? We are better off just ignoring this left wing organisation. Can I suggest to Choice - stick to reviewing Fridges and TVs!

This is where the whole 'best interest' duty has a serious flaw. Yes, withdrawing from your superannuation before retirement will mean a lower sum in the future, therefore an early withdrawal is NEVER in the best interests of someones broader long term retirement planning objectives. Does this mean we can NEVER recommend an early release; no, because we need to prioritise objectives. At the end of the day there is also the human (feel good) and mental health side to the equation; if the client is comforted be being able to access some funds with an understanding that it will mean less for retirement then so be it. Many will have time on their side to replenish their retirement savings and there will also be those who don't get to retirement. In the current (CV19) climate let's just accept this initiate for what it is and get on with it. Unfortunately, the current structure of our industry has too much 'red tape' to allow advice to be provided on this topic at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, too, there will be people out there (the minority) who will come up with 'I've got a deal for you with your $10,000' and take advantage of people. At the end of the day people will make their own choice; lets provide some guidance to allow them to make their own informed decision.

What on earth is Choice mouthing off again for in relation to damaging advisers when their clients are placing their trust in them to navigate one of the most difficult financial periods ??
It simply shows that Choice have a blatantly vindictive and discriminatory agenda against advisers and have pursued same for many years.
Choice have become an overly aggressive, ideological and politically motivated, vigilante attack dog and need to be contained.
Having previous members of these and similar organisations on the FASEA board was a monumental mistake as every decision made would have been motivated by pre-conceived agendas and ideological bias, which has very obviously been evident in certain aspects of the Code of Ethics.
Choice now pride themselves on wreaking havoc,causing disruption and instilling fear.
And here we have an organisation that accepts payments from their Choice recommended tests and reviews, their test research program and the icing on the cake is their " Buy Now" links, where Choice receives a fee paid by the retailer of the product the customer has clicked on.
Plus in addition to that they claim they have over 170,000 members who all pay a fee.
If the annual membership is claimed at $83.95, this provides Choice with $14,271,500 of annual income in addition to the fees they scam off the product testing, displaying the Choice Recommended logo , product research and the buy now links scam.
They claim they are the champion of the consumer, but there is a lot more sinister and manipulated activity behind the motivation of Choice.

Dont' forget the $40million dollar "fine" paid to them by CBA and Westpac.

the FPA and AFA need to use whatever money they have, and they have a lot, to discredit this cesspit of pus.

this is a truly hideous, and wicked organization attacking the very people who are -without due regard for their own mental health and well being- are putting themselves side by side with their clients and comforting them through this incredibly difficult period.

This statement from Choice proves they are totally biased and prejudiced towards advisers. Choice representatives should be removed from AFCA and FASEA. They should have their funding from ASIC cut off. It is completely inappropriate to have Choice in positions of power and judgement over advisers when they are clearly biased.

Jane Hume, what more evidence do you need to take action?

Definitely a last resort. $ 10000 withdrawn now could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on age,to retirement !

Are CHOICE being the voice of the Industry Funds who are concerned about liquidity....

Have Choice criticised the Industry Funds for the fee for no service issues with Intra-Fund advice ?
The answer is no, because Choice appear comfortable that everyone pays for the greater good, even if only a handful of those who pay receive the benefit they have paid for.
This is the politically driven ideology of this organisation that is highly dangerous.
They are quite obviously opposed to Capitalism and subscribe to a Marxist position in that capitalism can only prosper at the expense of the working class.
Well Choice, I can tell you now, the people who are in control of the Industry Super Funds financial mega power are about as far away from working class in terms of financial well being as you could possibly imagine.

If the AFA will be asking this statement be withdrawn and if Choice ignore or refuse this request, then where does this go from there ?
There must be a demand or threat of legal action following otherwise Choice will never respond at all.

this is defamatory and prejudicial and intended to be so. legal action needs to be pursued with vigor.

I am highly qualified (master's degree in financial planning) and an ethical financial planner (passed fasea exam in the first sitting). I have many certificates to prove that and 20 years of unblemished service experience.

I take umbrage to anyone suggesting I do not work in my client's best interest.

not some puny guy like this Patrick pisshead with one bachelor's degree in commerce and government relations- whatever that qualifies you to be.

Well done AFA & Phil. Please be assured that is they don't retract then you will have support both financially and morally from advisers to pursue them - happy to start a 'gofundme' or other page to do so if the need arises.

Choice are so deep in the ISA camp they are incapable of clear thought.
They are saying this because they know their mates at ISA will face massive liquidity issues with the early release scheme.
Choice is a rotten organisation.

Why would a financial adviser recommend an early release of super if it wasn't in the person's best interests? What possible conflict could their be? It seems a bizarre assertion.

Although recommending anyone and everyone gets the hell out of industry fund balanced options, which are chock full of illiquid assets, before they collapse? Well that would definitely be in people's best interests I would think! [said with tongue firmly planted in cheek]

Choice is just another part of the swamp. Can't wait till their subscriptions begin to dry up.

That started a long time ago David. Choice has been transforming from a consumer association to a fringe political activist group for about 10 years. Real consumers have cancelled their subscriptions in droves. But Choice has replaced that revenue with government funding.

The question has to be asked, why is the government giving Choice funding and representation on bodies like FASEA & AFCA, when they are just an ideology driven activist group?

I had no idea! Thanks for the clarification.

well i thought they may be raising the issue that some advisers will now think its a new tax saving re-contribution....those Advisers surely didnt pass their Ethics exam! This will be a good way to weed out the dodgy advisers. Supers fund should be on the look out for it these types of Adviser taking advantage of a touch situation.

Most, if not all financial planners, would be discouraging their clients from accessing superannuation early. I don't understand why Patrick Veyret would think we would recommend they do this unless it was absolutely the last resort. Doesn't he realise we have a "Best Interest Duty" and a new "Code of Ethics" to comply with?

Inane and stupid statement by Choice and Choice should unreservedly withdraw this its statement and apologise. Choice must do this without delay.

As for Kerwin, he should stop being a prima donna all the time and do something and get his association to address the poor perception of financial advisers. He should take a leaf out of the industry superannuation advertisements and commission advertisements demonstrating how financial planners do their work and show the value of the advice of financial advisors in assisting Australians. Carrying on like he does is easy but not ground changing.

AFA has been ineffectual for too long in weeding out the non compliant and less honest members of the profession. Choice has obviously picked up on the bad apples but the profession is more than just those people.

Mr Veyret must believe that people's superannuation monies are sacrosant and that Government or the Tooth Fairy should protect and provide for anyone needing financial support in this time of absolute crisis.

The dude is only a kid, he finished uni in 2017, very limited work experience in the real world. I wouldn't take this kid too seriously, it's his manager that you need to go after.

The dude is not the issue. He is just parroting his organisation's mantra that all financial advisers are evil. Choice has become an extremist political group. It is NOT a real consumer association anymore. The government needs to cut off their funding, and remove them from all regulatory bodies such as FASEA and AFCA.

this 'Kid' needs to be taught a lesson by legal action in defamation.

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