Parliamentary criticism of advisers ‘borders abuse’: AFA

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”.

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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.

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McAllister and her supporters would be up in arms if Muslims were indiscriminately described as terrorists, or African refugees indiscriminately described as criminal gang members.

Yet they think it's perfectly OK to vilify financial advisers by blaming others within that demographic for the behaviour of a minority. The likes of McAllister, Ferguson, Verrender and their ALP/Fairfax/ABC supporters display the same type of bigotry and prejudice as Pauline Hanson, Craig Kelly and co. They just focus on more "socially acceptable" targets, and are therefore greater hypocrites.

BTW I actually agree with her that 6 member SMSFs are a bad idea. But indiscriminately vilifying financial advisers only diminishes her credibility on this, and every other issue.

Well Phil, once again you have misread the "vibe". The fact is, we advisers have no real credibility in Parliament and in the eyes of many of the general public. The AFA has even less credibility given your association's constant push-back on all the reforms that are essentially there to help consumers, not your outdated business models. Of course, you and your noisey rabble will scream very loudly at this observation, but when you step back and look to see how many wins you have had in changing ANYTHING over the past couple of years, the proof is in the pudding. You and your mates who lobby politicians and think you are getting somewhere, don't understand the game that is being played. At best, you are simply a name to add to the list when the next political fund-raiser comes along. When the FASEA exam cut-off passes and those that aren't up to speed are gone, I suspect there might be a VERY small change in attitude. The government and opposition are waiting for the tide to go out to see what's left.

A lot of your post is the exact reason why Phil and all of us need to make a stand like this. The perception of financial advisers as you have stated is negative. The reality is that the percentage of wrong doers in financial planning is not worse than other industries, complaints with AFCA are very low and a Royal commission going back 10 years was always going to be able to find some poor operators Australia-wide.

Enough is enough

Id love to see more visibility out and about from these associations, rebuttal of untruthful comments in the mainstream media and so forth. Really lobbying in our particular case especially is useless unless you have the public onside first. Maybe start by putting a few ads positive on tv , such as examples of us doing what we do every day , help people. Get about in the mainstream press more, we need to put faces to our profession. At the moment we are a easy target as we are faceless in a way.

NOT WORSE? iron mike, why don't you do some pro bono work for us. call the Australian medical association and ask them how many complaints they have received about doctors YTD to 30 June from the last financial year or if they work on calender months then ask them how many they have received from 1 June 2020 to now.

I guarantee you it will be no less than 8,000 (allowing for a 20% reduction due to covid).

now get the same data from AFCA and let's fucking compare the pair.

What a particularly dumb comparison. There are about 129,000 doctors registered in Australia, v about 20,000 financial advisers. Patient contacts per day are about 25 v financial advisers, 4. I think that an examination of a breach /complaint register will show a lot more is going on than you’ll acknowledge. If it makes it to afca, the shit’s really hit the fan….

Are you seriously comparing financial advisers to doctors? What a laugh. If financial advisers were allowed to dish out verbal advice, with no paper-trail and no audits, the already low number of complaints would evaporate almost completely. The reverse is also true - if doctors were required to issue a detailed statement, setting out the information collected, basis of the advice and alternatives considered, coupled with a free complaints handing ombudsman, the number of complaints would go through the roof. I mean seriously, there are anti-vax doctors, there are doctors who refuse to prescribe contraception, there are doctors who believe cholesterol is a conspiracy invented by drug companies. Extortionate fees, conflicts of interests, negligence, lack of due diligence, bad advice. bullying, poor bedside manner....the list goes on and these are just the things I have witnessed first hand. You must have had a very fortunate run if you have not witnessed such things in your lifetime. I wish you continued good health.

small trev needs his head read.

Hi Karen,

mortgage brokers which number about 28,000 in total received a total number of 7 complaints. check afca data. mortgage brokers only have a cert iv. even mortgage brokers are better at satisfying their clients than doctors who only have a measly AQF 7 qualification when compared with most financial planners who (for new entrants) have at least an AQF 7, for existing advisers either an AQF8 or an AQF 9 qualification and a fasea exam.

thanks, Karen.

small trev, you don't have very many qualifications. should be on or talking about trucking and road trains.

you will be GONSKI !

Someone should point out to Jenny McCallister and her ilk that despite the very public airing of the bad eggs in financial planning in recent years (and the complete absence of any counter narrative) we still rank much higher than politicians in every single trust survey conducted of the various occupations and professions. The surveys also are community wide and we know that only 10-15% of the population actually have used or continue to use a financial planner. 100% of adults have to endure compulsory voting and the inescapable shenanigans of politicians. The surveys also rank planners higher than journo's interestingly. The cheap shots will increasingly lose their last shreds of credibility in the near future because the hard work is getting done - can't say the same about our political crowd.

Sadly, this again shows the lack of understanding in parliament.

The instos that were torn apart in the RC mostly avoid SMSF's all together as they use 'financial advice' as a loss leader to sell their own in house products.

Not surprised though.

Pure political rubbish.
Industry Super hate SMSFs.
Thus Labor must hate and crucify anything to do with SMSF.
It’s such a sad political fight in Super and Advisers get easily squashed as cheap cannon fodder at every turn by both Labor and LNPs.
Advisers must All vote Independents !!!

This is so infuriating. Even the RC found that the majority of fault lay with the Licensees not with individual financial planners and yet the Licensees will continue to get off scott free from any future scrutiny. When are Politicians going to wake up to the real problem out there? Oh wait, they won't, the big companies have friendly lobbyists who feed them misinformation. Watch out roboadvice, when those same big companies work out how to program the algorithms to return them more profits....!
Thanks Phil for at least calling the pollies out in their ignorant but relentless planner bashing, thats the only way we are going to see any change in Canberra is a name and shame campaign!

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