The Government’s six-month deferral for the implementation of Royal Commission recommendations has been welcomed by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) but they have called for the timing to be monitored given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AFA chief executive, Philip Kewin, said the pandemic had had a substantial impact on the Australian community and the economy.
"Access to financial advice will be critical for Australians as we work our way through this crisis. We expect that the Government will closely monitor the full impact of the crisis, and continue to assess the right timing for moving forward with these reforms,” he said.
"The AFA remains hopeful that this sensible deferral will allow time for more consultation, and looks forward to working with the Government to consider the proposals that have been put forward to improve the exposure draft legislation, in order to ensure that these important reforms are both achievable and practical."
FPA chief executive, Dante De Gori, also said the association looked forward to discussing with the Government on how some of the reforms could be better amended to reduce over regulation and red tape.
“There is a direct relationship between the rising cost of regulation, time constraints on financial planners and the ability of Australians to access advice,” he said.
“While we broadly agree with the draft legislation on the Royal Commission recommendations, we do have real concerns for both the profession and consumers who we are seeking to serve.”
De Gori noted that FPA members had been inundated since the pandemic as it had put clients and members in financial situations they had never experienced.
“Our members’ priority is to assist them in managing their financial position, which is second only to their health in personal importance,” he said.