The government will now follow through on Levy’s proposal to bring licensed financial institutions back into the advice fold, while also agreeing to “modernise” the Safe Harbour Steps and swap SOAs with “advice records”.
“I was really worried people would say ‘Is that all?'” the minister said, before explaining that he didn’t want to submit key compliance reforms until they were well-designed and collectively agreed upon.
After publishing two separate guides and with the Financial Accountability Regime firmly in mind, the regulator was scathing of licensees’ collective remediation processes when it released findings of a recent industry review.
An approved degree doesn’t necessarily make for a better adviser, but if the government wants to get the experienced pathway legislation right it must disclose which pathway an adviser took to accreditation.
If super funds can’t implement the retirement income covenant’s mandate to provide retirement guidance, the review lead pointed out, how are they going to handle the responsibility of saving financial advice?
The minister is putting his financial advice eggs in the superannuation basket, with dramatic changes to the existing intrafund advice models being considered. “I don’t think fiddling with intrafund advice is going to get us where we need to be,” he said.
The minister was peppered with questions about phases 1 and 2 of the the government’s advice review response, as well as specialist accreditation and data access during a series of events in the sunshine state.
While finding that more research is needed to determine if the “definitions, metrics and formulas” used to calculate levies remain fitâ€‘forâ€‘purpose, Treasury was able to determine that advisers should no longer benefit from discounted levies.
The controversial, long-delayed scheme doesn’t protect consumers from high profile managed investment scheme failures like Sterling and Timbercorp, FAAA CEO Sarah Abood said, and could end up adding another layer of unfair fees at the feet of advisers.
Financial services minister Stephen Jones has accepted 14 of Michelle Levy’s 22 recommendations to increase advice access, with super funds set to play an expanded role and advisers benefitting from a drastic cut to red tape. Banks and insurers, however, have had their advice reform hopes dashed – for now.