- Agree (61%)
- Disagree (28%)
- Not sure (11%)
Most advisers seem to agree that the existing safe harbour boxes needing to be ticked are the biggest drivers of cost and the biggest obstacle to affordable advice.
As we go to print, just under six in ten who have voted in our poll (58%) have identified the safe harbour steps as the main ‘culprit’ to cost and affordability of advice, while 28% disagree and 14% are unsure.
These results appear to accord with a statement made by the FSC in its recently-released white paper on financial advice, in which it noted feedback from across the advice community is that the safe harbour steps are the number one driver of cost and the biggest obstacle to accessing affordable and compliant scalable advice aligned with consumer needs.
While the poll considers the extent to which safe harbour requirements are an impediment to affordable financial advice, the comments we’ve received take the opportunity to reflect on what is viewed as a more significant impediment when it comes to life insurance advice. This greater impediment relates to the perceived failure in the eyes of many advisers of legislators to separate life insurance advice from the minimum education and compliance rules surrounding the delivery of financial planning and investment advice:
Investment advice is wanted and Australians are willing to pay for it, as they know the complexity could financially cripple them if they do not get advice.
This leads us to Insurance advice.
Australians will not pay a fraction of what it costs Advisers to provide [life insurance advice]…
According to this argument, quality life insurance advice could be delivered at a significantly-reduced cost if the advice process was not subject to the same rules governing financial planning/investment advice.
The merits of this argument continue to be debated, but it appears to be a moot point, given life insurance advice is unlikely now to be carved out of existing legislation and treated separately in future.
In the meantime, our poll remains open for another week and we welcome your thoughts…