October 13, 2017
The financial advice sector should be given the credit it deserves as a profession but this will only come about as it progresses to higher professional standards, according to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer.
Addressing delegates at the AFA National Conference, O’Dwyer said, “The Government strongly believes in professionalising your industry because of the important role it plays in the lives of the millions of Australians who rely on your advice, to help secure their economic prosperity”.
“It is my ambition as minister to set the course toward making it a universally respected, important and desirable profession. I want to see all Australians have the confidence to seek financial advice to help them secure their prosperity,” she added.
“The Government strongly believes in professionalising your industry because of the important role it plays…”
O’Dwyer said the complexity of advice had increased alongside the wealth of Australians but the actions of ‘rogue advisers’ and institutions had damaged the reputation of the wider profession.
As such, it was the responsibility of the sector to win back the trust of consumers, according to O’Dwyer who said advisers “…will not only need to have the necessary technical and strategic skills, but also the ethical awareness required to provide outcomes for consumers that are in their best interests”.
O’Dwyer added that financial advice had moved from being an occupation to a profession but would only be regarded as such when the wider community also believed that was the case as well.
The Minister said it was the task of the financial advice sector, with the Government, to lift the bar and outlined a series of previously announced policy positions, including new professional standards, consumer financial literacy and a single external dispute resolution service.
“You are the partners with millions of Australians in building their wealth, in establishing and expanding their business and in giving them choices when they retire,” O’Dwyer said, adding “That is why we must lift the bar higher”.