ASIC's financial adviser work for 2012–13
A speech by Peter Kell, ASIC Commissioner, delivered at the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) National Roadshow, Brisbane, 26 July 2012
Note: Versions of this speech were delivered at AFA roadshow events in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in July 2012.
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you this morning.
I note that the theme for this year’s roadshow is ‘pathways to excellence’.
We at ASIC are keen to work with the industry, including the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and its members, to promote excellence, both in terms of professional standards and in the provision of quality financial advice. As I mentioned when I spoke to the AFA earlier this year, ensuring that financial consumers can access high quality financial advice is a core part of our mandate to facilitate their confident and informed participation in the financial sector.
After all, good financial advice can significantly improve the financial wellbeing of consumers.
The examples of good advice and some of the examples of adequate advice which we uncovered in our recent shadow shopping research provide concrete illustrations of the impact that good advice can have.
Interestingly, good advice is not always the advice that a consumer is hoping for or is eager to hear. In fact some of the consumers who received better quality advice in our shadow shop rated that advice less highly than other consumers who had received poor advice. This is because the adviser had more clearly explained to them that some of their goals and objectives were unrealistic, and indicated that, for example, they really needed to get debt under control, save more and keep working for longer, to ensure they could make ends meet in retirement.
These can be challenging messages, but financial advisers have an important role to play in making sure that their clients better understand their financial situation and the decisions required to improve their finances.
Today I would like to outline the key elements of our work for the next year in the area of financial advice.
In particular, I want to highlight three broad streams:
proactive surveillance and research projects on emerging risks;
ensuring ASIC and industry are ready for the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms; and
reviewing codes of conduct that may be submitted to ASIC for approval.