On 28 February 2020, we lodged a submission to the Financial Services Reform Taskforce about enhancing consumer protections and strengthening regulators towards the draft legislation on the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has long advocated for industry reform to ensure that more consumers are able to access affordable, high quality, ethical and professional financial advice.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has been an active participant in many stakeholder roundtables in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services. We have read, with interest, the findings of The Commissioner, the Honourable Kenneth Hayne AC QC when he submitted his final report to the Governor-General on 1 February 2019.
Our comments and recommendations on some of the draft legislation that is resultant to Commissioner Hayne’s findings are in this submission.
We believe there is, and will continue to be, a need for trusted advisers to look after the financial advice needs of everyday Australians. This will be best served by retaining Chartered Accountants in the financial advice industry and we will continue our efforts to support this. Any exodus of CAs is likely to significantly reduce the overall level of training and expertise in the industry and be contrary to the overall objectives of the new legislation.
We therefore need to be mindful that any additional regulation adds to costs for our members, and these costs often need to be passed on to consumers. Higher costs of advice lead to less consumers being able to afford it whereas in reality – the government has acknowledged more consumers actually need it. We have a financial literacy issue, we have an aging population and we need to be able to provide advice to assist with self-funding in retirement.