Industry Funds Services (IFS) welcomes the opportunity to provide input to ASIC on the issues and impediments that affect delivery of affordable personal advice. As an advice licensee to 12 profit to member superannuation funds, IFS supports making advice accessible to all Australians.
Industry Super funds are uniquely placed to provide affordable advice to their members. Superannuation funds want to play a more active role in providing advice, guidance and support to their members.
The number of members who receive personal advice is modest compared to the potential need for simple and complex personal advice. While some of the impediments to extending access to advice are commercial, the complex regulatory environment also acts to drive up costs and dampen supply.
The current regulatory framework is fragmented. There are seven separate regulators, three disciplinary and complaints bodies as well as Licensees themselves overseeing the conduct of Financial Advisers. While the proposed transfer of responsibility for the FASEA Code of Ethics to ASICs in 2021 will remove some of the friction in future, the need for further rationalisation and inter-regulator cooperation remains. In addition to this, advisers employed by APRA-regulated superannuation funds must also comply with regulation specific to superannuation, which covers similar subject matter, but with nuanced differences. Alignment between regulators would reduce cost and complexity.