AFA 2017 National Adviser Conference

Advisers Deserve Credit But Need to Achieve Higher Standards

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.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer

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”.

  • SydneyCider

    I’d guarantee she has never walked the floor of a Claims Department and then sought the origin of the advice that resulted in cash when it was needed most. Bring back Peter Costello.

  • Ken

    I know who needs to win who’s trust back ?? I have 2000 plus clients that have been with me some for 30 plus years. I can only assume they trust me and are happy with the advice or wouldn’t they have left years ago ?? Every time some “half baked” politician becomes an expert in the portfolio they are given “sweeping” changes are made because they think they need to.
    Complete upheaval of an industry through lack of knowledge and back ground forces that have their own financial agendas in mind. What a mess they have made of this !!! lets all stand against the wall for the firing squad so they can start again.
    It will end up like the IT industry heaps of so called ” qualified people” standing in the dole cue as the banks can only employ so many !

    • Totally Frustrated Risky

      She’s a disgrace with what she’s done to this industry. Totally unjustified major overhaul of the industry when all that was needed to happen was the weeding of the dishonest advisers. Instead she persecutes the majority of the industry’s advisers.

  • NobbyK

    Boy – what a put down in her comments about financial advisers.
    At least advisers have gone through education and years of experience, whereas this woman got her position through default without experience or education!
    Why is it that advisers have to be held to such a high standard of accountability when we have politicians have no idea?
    I’d much rather admit to being a used car salesman than a politician. What a disgrace!

  • Jeremy Wright

    It would have been a nice exercise to show Kelly O’Dwyer, the difference with the New Zealand approach to perceived issues, which was investigated quickly, accurately and inexpensively and a simple solution put into place to amend the behaviour of a small amount of problem advisers, then compared that to Australia’s years of incompetence and waste, spending countless millions of dollars going round in circles, to finally come up with a solution that is wrong in virtually every aspect.

    Australia has become a laughing stock for Government incompetence, ably supported by a Public Service sector that also fails to grasp even a basic reality of the real world.

    The fiasco that is the LIF regulatory environment we will need to comply with going forward, will create the exact opposite of the platitudes being spewed out by people like O’Dwyer.

    It beggars belief that the AFA and the FPA have waited till it is too late, before they have finally recognised what was so obvious to any reasonably intelligent person and belatedly put forth a weak argument about extra pressure and extra cost to consumers, when it has never been about the extra cost to consumers when it comes to paying fees to Risk advisers, as that was never an issue.

    Australians have always said they will not pay even a fraction in fees of what it costs advisers to provide Best Interest advice around Life Insurance.

    What they have consistently said is they are fed up with Life Companies pushing up premiums.

  • Squeaky_1

    Kelly O’Dwyer and the govt need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY! They are govt employees and that means employed by ‘we the people’. Their fancy titles they accord themselves have gone to their heads and they all get ahead of themselves regarding their station in life. They are governmet employees. They are there to do what the people tell them to do. The government produces NOTHING – they can only redistribute the wealth and capital produced by others. For them to think they can “professionalise our industry” is stupidity. Only WE can do that. The best they can do is STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Sheeeesh! . . . the cliches and platitudes uselessly coming from her mouth is sickening and embarrassing to Australia viewed on the world stage.

    • John Galt

      The govt should not be intervening in ANY industry until it has taken a long hard look at itself and the political system in this country first. Talk about getting your own back yard clean first!

      Her comments are insulting, arrogant and clearly demonstrate how inexperienced and misinformed about financial services she is.

      Disgraceful.

      • Squeaky_1

        Well said John.

  • emkay

    ” higher professional standards’ seriously O’Dwyer? pot, kettle black. No politician in this country should question ANYONES standards. This woman has been led by the nose by the FSC and its paid cronies and she dare question our standards? Her salary should be clawed back!