The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has forecast that a “new competitive dynamic” will evolve out of the banks’ recent divestment of life and wealth management businesses.
The regulator’s corporate plan for 2018-2022 has pointed to the divestments and the move away from vertical integration as being a key element, together with the competition recommendations flowing from the Productivity Commission’s (PC’s) recent findings and the proposal to give ASIC competition powers.
Importantly, the ASIC corporate plan has also pointed to growing demand for financial advice, citing data showing that demand for financial advice among Australian adults is growing steadily, with around 9,4 million people (52 per cent) having unmet advice needs in 2017.
It said that while the number of Australians who had seen an adviser in the past decade had actually declined, the number of adults who intended to use a financial adviser over the next two years was forecast to rise.
This was not withstanding factors such as consumers believing they had insufficient wealth and concerns about the cost of advice.