IOOF has launched a new initiative to offer free financial guidance to local communities and advisers who volunteer in the initiative for at least 60 hours will be provided with three months licensee fee relief.
The ‘IOOF Community Offer’ would run from now until the end of September and advisers under IOOF who registered their interest in participating would be matched with members of the community who sought assistance.
The fee relief for advisers would be provided from October to December 2020, after IOOF received validated pro bono records.
IOOF chief executive, Renato Mota, said: “We anticipate at least two-thirds of our advisers will sign up to this initiative which means more than 50,000 hours of professional financial help we are able to offer people who are facing tough financial decisions due to this crisis.
“And I know many of our advisers are already doing pro bono work in their communities, so this is not a limit – it’s a baseline.
“Our community offer is opening up wealth management – in a time of need – to all Australians. It is a tangible and meaningful approach to supporting the broader community and importantly, our advisers – many of whom are small business owners themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mota said since the COVID-19 pandemic people were faced with difficult decisions about whether to access their superannuation early, take a break from their mortgage, or refinance existing loans and financial arrangements.
“None of these decisions are easy without appropriate knowledge, tools and guidance. Providing that guidance is where we see IOOF having an important role to play,” he said.
The initiative also included an educational online hub featuring a range of educational videos and fact sheets developed by IOOF’s specialist TechConnect teams, with the aim of creating a complete resource centre of practical information and guidance to help all Australians navigate and understand the government benefits available as a result of COVID-19.