The motivation behind the Government's interventions in financial advice have been to restore trust and confidence that has deteriorated in the advice space, the Treasury said.
Treasury division head, retirement income, policy division, Jenny Wilkinson, told a panel discussion at the 2017 SMSF Association conference in Melbourne on Thursday that the series of reforms in the advice sector including the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms, the accountants exemption to advise on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), and increased education and professional standards were all driven by a desire to improve the quality of financial advice.
"This is as is often the case a consequence of the behaviour of a few individuals rather than it being everyone but there's always concerns about whether the system is working well," Wilkinson said.
"So clearly it is a concern for government but it also has to be a concern for industry because it is vitally important I guess that industry actually has the confidence of the public."
The government also recognised the need to ensure existing arrangements were operating smoothly, which drove it to provide additional funding to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to strengthen its enforcement tools and improve the accountability of the issuers and distributors of financial products.
"My sense is the government is very much trying to come at this from both perspectives both looking at what are the new things we need in the framework to provide the confidence but also what are the things we need to ask of the existing regulators in terms of them working well together," she said.
The government also wanted to equip regulators with sufficient tools to ensure existing legislation was operating at peak efficiency.