The further six-week lockdown in Melbourne and key areas of Victoria has seen renewed calls for the Government and regulators to allow financial advisers some relief around the opt-in rules.
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) acknowledged that it had made such a request earlier this year when the first round of lockdowns occurred and that it would be renewing its calls with respect to advisers caught up the Melbourne lockdown.
AFA director of policy and professionalism, Phil Anderson said he believed an acknowledgement of the problem and the injection of some flexibility into the arrangements was justified, particularly for advisers dealing with older clients.
“There are obviously older clients who like to meet face to face and who like to send things in the mail,” he said. “Given the current circumstances it is possible that their opt-in documentation will not be received on time and advisers will find their authorisations lapsing through no fault of their own or that of their client.”
The opt-in requirement means that financial advisers who have an ongoing fee arrangement with a retail client must obtain their client's agreement at least every two years to continue the ongoing fee arrangement.
Anderson said that the AFA’s original request to Government had not met with a positive response but it was possible there had been a belief that the situation was beginning to recovery.
He said that had certainly changed with respect to financial advisers working in Victoria and that advisers needed to allowed at least some lee-way in the current circumstances.