Advisers and industry leaders call for collaboration to solve advice accessibility challenge

Andrew Alcock

Andrew Alcock

Collaborative action to drive transformation must be taken to enable financial advice to be more cost-effective and accessible, not only to help more Australians meet their individual financial goals but also provide broader benefits for the community as a whole.

In a documentary created by HUB24 and XY Adviser, industry leaders and advisers have called for affirmative action to ensure more Australians can access professional financial advice.

According to HUB24’s CEO, Andrew Alcock, the advice profession and industry providers have an obligation to work together to ensure financial advice is accessible for more Australians.

“Currently, we have a situation where a small percentage of Australians seek holistic advice from a regulated financial adviser, and it’s becoming harder and more expensive to access that service. In effect, we are creating a have and have-not situation.”

The documentary features industry leaders and advisers including Financial Services Council CEO Blake Briggs, AZ NGA CEO Paul Barrett, Investment Trends CEO Sarah Brennan, Money Mentor’s Adele Martin and Caboodle Financial Services Principal Peita Diamantidis.

Participants identified cost and the decreasing number of financial advisers as significant challenges for Australians in getting advice – factors which have been exacerbated by the complex regulatory environment and historical lack of investment in developing innovative technology solutions.

According to Mr Barrett, advisers and clients are bearing the brunt of complex regulatory obligations. “If you put yourself in the shoes of an adviser today, and the things they have to do before they can have a meaningful discussion about their client’s scenario and start helping them, there’s too much of a regulatory burden.”

The documentary participants collectively agreed both advisers and consumers will pay the price if we are not able to overcome these challenges as Australians will be more reliant on the government for financial support and unable to navigate the complexity of their finances.

“Without good financial advice, Australians miss out on the opportunity to plan for tomorrow, to have peace of mind, financial security and financial freedom,” said Mr Alcock.  “We really need to consider, with the complexity of the environment we are in and all of the regulations and compliance, are we actually preparing Australians for the future?”

The documentary also features comments by CoreData Global CEO Andrew Inwood, My Millennial Money podcast creator Glen James, FPA CEO Sarah Abood, AFR Wealth Editor Aleks Vickovich and Diverger General Manager of Operations and Technology, Sonya Choi La Rosa.  It highlights how financial education, reduced regulatory complexity and investment in developing integrated technology solutions for licensees and advisers can play a role in enabling the delivery of cost-effective financial advice.

“There is an amazing opportunity to build the foundations of the future, and leverage data and technology to reduce friction for licensees, advisers and customers to empower better financial futures for more Australians,” said Mr Alcock.

Participants agreed the way forward was to work together and alongside government and regulators, to break down existing barriers to advice and build a sustainable advice profession which will enable more Australians to benefit from financial advice.

Watch the documentary. 

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