In a documentary created by HUB24 and XY Adviser, industry leaders and advisers have called for affirmative action to ensure more Australians can access professional financial advice.
According to HUB24’s chief executive, Andrew Alcock, the advice profession and industry providers had an obligation to work together to ensure financial advice was accessible for more Australians.
“Currently, we have a situation where a small percentage of Australians seek holistic advice from a regulated financial adviser, and it's becoming harder and more expensive to access that service. In effect, we are creating a have and have-not situation.”
The documentary featured industry leaders and advisers including Financial Services Council CEO, Blake Briggs, AZ NGA CEO, Paul Barrett, Investment Trends CEO, Sarah Brennan, Money Mentor’s Adele Martin and Caboodle Financial Services Principal, Peita Diamantidis.
According to Barrett, advisers and clients were bearing the brunt of complex regulatory obligations.
“If you put yourself in the shoes of an adviser today, and the things they have to do before they can have a meaningful discussion about their client’s scenario and start helping them, there’s too much of a regulatory burden.”
The documentary participants collectively agreed both advisers and consumers would pay the price if the industry was not able to overcome these challenges as Australians would be more reliant on the government for financial support and unable to navigate the complexity of their finances.
Alcock said: “Without good financial advice, Australians miss out on the opportunity to plan for tomorrow, to have peace of mind, financial security and financial freedom.”
“We really need to consider, with the complexity of the environment we are in and all of the regulations and compliance, are we actually preparing Australians for the future?”
Participants agreed the way forward was to work together and alongside government and regulators, to break down existing barriers to advice and build a sustainable advice profession which would enable more Australians to benefit from financial advice.