Advisers are already overburdened during the economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic, further proving stress on the industry will be an issue in a future crisis, if advisers continue to depart the industry.
With advisers already leaving the industry and more expected when deadlines from exam and education requirements come into effect, the COVID-19 situation had shown the financial advice industry may not be able to deal with a future crisis.
Ben Marshan, head of policy and standards at the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), said it was lucky that it had happened now since a lot of planners who might still be looking to leave the system haven’t done so yet.
“We haven’t got to the exam deadlines yet, but that looks like it would be the first big drop off,” Marshan said.
The Federal Government had put up several initiatives, including early access to superannuation and wait-time waivers for Centrelink, but these options had been overwhelming to navigate and advice was needed.
“Our members are telling us they’re being inundated from their clients, asking about markets, how to take advantage of the stimulus package the government has put out, and all these issues around applying for Centrelink,” Marshan said.
“Our members are inundated; they’re really struggling to help their clients properly… It takes up to 26 hours to provide a piece of advice that costs about six and half thousand dollars.
“In an environment where people need quick straight answers to make really important decisions about their financial position when they’re losing their jobs, when markets are crashing, our members are struggling to keep up with workloads to help their clients at the moment.”