Sydney: 13 June 2023 – The Advisers Association (TAA) welcomes the Government’s formal response to the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) announced today.

TAA is broadly supportive of the fact that the Government has indicated it will accept 14 of the QAR recommendations and is encouraged that concerns TAA raised in its various submissions appear to have been heard.

TAA CEO, Neil Macdonald said, ‘We are pleased that the Government is looking to remove regulatory red tape, and particularly welcome that Statements of Advice may be replaced with an advice record that is more fit-for-purpose.’

Mr Macdonald said TAA expects replacing SoAs with advice records would lighten the load on financial advisers and make accessing professional advice more affordable for consumers. ‘SoAs are overly bureaucratic, not fit for purpose and offer little tangible benefit to consumers, who often do not even fully read them.’

Mr Macdonald said TAA is also keen for some of the recommendations to be legislated quickly. ‘We encourage the Government to look for a legislative slot to enact the recommendations as soon as possible,’ he said.

If legislation cannot be enacted quickly, TAA would like to see Government consider a facilitative, ‘no action’ approach until it is enacted.

‘We think some of the recommendations, particularly around addressing regulatory red tape, could be addressed quickly, if the Government was prepared to adopt a facilitative ‘No action’ approach for 12 months,’ Mr Macdonald said. ‘For example, substituting advice records for SOAs as soon as possible could reduce the administrative burden on financial advisers very quickly, giving them more time to see more people.’

TAA is also broadly supportive of the fact that the Government has indicated it is looking to expand access to retirement income advice and exploring new channels to advice.

‘We have always said that Australians need greater access to advice, therefore we were generally supportive of introducing a ‘good advice’ duty under which non-relevant providers could offer personal advice,’ he said. ‘However, as we have also said, guardrails do need to be in place.’

The guardrails should be around who should be permitted to deliver personal financial advice, the extent of the advice they give, and the minimum education and qualifications they hold.

‘The Government has indicated that it is seeking to consult with the industry and consumer stakeholders on how non-relevant providers should be able to give advice. We welcome their prompt commitment to that further consultation,’ Mr Macdonald said. ‘We believe there should be a level playing field in relation to the provision of personal financial advice, with similar rights and obligations for all providers.’