The ongoing “vilification” of financial advisers in the Federal Parliament “borders abuse”, according to the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) chief executive, Phil Anderson.
The has AFA called for an end to the “persecution” of the financial advice sector.
Anderson pointed to a statement made by Labor senator Jenny McAllister in the senate last week who said: “the people who will benefit most from these arrangements are financial advisers giving shonky advice—the kind of advice we've seen again and again and again, the kind of advice exposed in the Hayne Royal Commission”.
He said the majority of advisers worked in the best interest of clients and that the Royal Commission only looked at a “tiny fraction” of the adviser population.
Anderson noted the number of advisers in the country had fallen by over 30% since the Royal Commission which reduced access and affordability of financial advice for everyday Australians.
“Is the decline in adviser numbers really in the best interests of Australians, who need help to balance their budgets, invest their savings, save for retirement or protect their family in the event of an insurance event?” he said.
“Financial advisers are humans, they have families and friends. They have emotions. For too long they have been forced to feel uncomfortable talking publicly about what they do. This is not right. No professional should be made to feel this way, and particularly not by elected members of their own Parliament.
He said the association called on all stakeholders to enable financial advice to make a new start “one free from constant criticism and scepticism”.
“The time has come. Enough is enough. We call on all fair-minded Australians to make this happen,” he said.