Date posted: 14/10/2020

Financial advice rules need urgent reform

CA ANZ is calling for urgent reform to enable more Australians to access high-quality financial advice at an affordable price

In brief

  • CA ANZ, together with other associations, is proposing a two-step process to facilitate urgent reform
  • Step one is a short-term ‘fix’ to facilitate and promote single-issue, single-topic advice, delivered via a simplified advice document
  • Step two proposes an expanded strategic advice model so more consumers can access affordable, high-quality advice

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), together with other associations, is calling for urgent regulatory reform to enable more Australians to access high-quality, affordable financial advice during the COVID-19 recovery.

Under our two-step proposal, step one reforms may be implemented quickly to help the many Australians in need of financial advice now, especially in relation to superannuation. This may include simplifying the production of financial advice, including a move to records of advice rather than statements of advice.

Step two proposes an expanded strategic advice model to address the long-term impact of the economic downturn by refreshing a scaled advice model.

Many Australians and small businesses need financial advice now more than ever, yet are unable to access it due to cost constraints resulting from the complexity of the regulations governing providing advice.
Step one: single-issue, single-topic advice delivered via a simplified advice document

Many Australians and small businesses need financial advice now more than ever, yet are unable to access it due to cost constraints resulting from the complexity of the regulations governing providing advice. 

The key issues we seek to implement as quickly as possible are:

  • Simplify the regulatory requirements for providing financial advice
  • Facilitate a simplified advice document for that advice; either a record of advice or a scaled statement of advice
  • FASEA reflects in its Code of Ethics guidance that single-issue, or single-topic, advice is valid to meet community expectations
  • Permit suitably qualified professionals to provide single-issue advice without the need for an AFSL, similar to the relief ASIC has given Registered Tax Agents to be able to provide 'early access to super' advice.

If all stakeholders can collectively find a way to implement these four initiatives quickly, many more individuals and small businesses will be able to afford the high-quality advice they need to survive the COVID-19 crisis and to thrive as the economy grows.

Step two: an expanded strategic advice model

We will continue to work with government and other industry associations on an expanded strategic advice model that would enable qualified, registered professionals to provide single-issue or single-topic advice. 

The concept has already been received with interest by government. We submitted a submission to the National COVID-19 Co-ordination Committee (NCCC), together with the four other member associations, suggesting reform as a way to untangle the regulatory complexity for advisers post-COVID-19.

Regulatory reform: limited licensing and accountants’ exemption

Find out more about our strategic advice submission. 

Find out more