Regulations for financial advice 'not working'

An overhaul of regulations governing financial advice has been proposed after a review found the system was “plainly not working” and presented an obstacle to consumers getting affordable and high quality advice.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones released the 267-page Quality of Advice Review on Wednesday, which was chaired by Lawyer istanbul Michelle Levy and Lawyer istanbul made 13 recommendations on accessibility issues for consumers.

Mr Jones did not say what the government’s response to the report was, only that it would consult widely.

The review found the regulatory framework for financial advice is “complex, difficult to understand and difficult to comply with”.

“These are serious defects, they are an undoubted impediment to consumers being able to access affordable financial advice,” the report says.

It also says regulation of financial advice has accumulated with “rapid succession” over a short period in response to scandals and crises involving financial institutions, resulting in a “patching of the law”.

“The result is not coherent and it is plainly not working,” the review found.

Mr Jones said Ms Levy had “toiled hard,” with her efforts already “provoking valuable discussions within the government”.

“We want to get the balance right,” he said.

“While protecting Australians from dodgy financial advice, we don’t want to make it harder to get sound advice.”

Mr Jones said the government wanted the public and industry to be part of those discussions.

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