Eighteen months ago, we set wheels in motion for a significant long-term project, to map the value of financial advice for Australians.
Last week, we delivered something even more ambitious, the first cut of a new policy framework for the future of financial advice in Australia. As they say in the trade, we got a good “run” in the media, and some very welcome positive reactions from both Government and the Opposition, advisers and consumer groups. We are now seeking submissions from far and wide, and when this is completed, we will hand our White Paper policy submission to Government later this year.
Our aim is to provide Australians with a more accessible and affordable model for advice. Millennials are about to inherit the wealth of their baby-boomer parents, the richest cohort of Australians in history. As our recent consumer research revealed, young people - particularly women in their 30s - are very keen to seek out advice they can both understand and afford.
The FSC delivered more solid solution-oriented work last week with our first major in-person event, the Life Insurance Summit. Keynote speaker, the Minister for Financial Services, Senator Jane Hume, strongly hinted that government would (finally) deliver a solution for legacy products, a scourge on our industry for decades, and she also announced the transfer of the LIF review into the Treasury review of advice. It was a very successful day, starting with a Chatham House breakfast with Minister Hume (who’s had added a new portfolio of Women’s Economic Security) and several of our C-Suite female members and ending with the Life Insurance Awards Dinner, where our own Nick Kirwan was awarded Special Recognition for Services to Life Insurance.
It’s hard not to feel a nascent mood of positivity across financial services as we sense a light at the end of the dark tunnel of review, regulation and remediation. TAL’s Chad Downie, winner of our Life Insurance Industry Leader Award, and a lawyer, noted wryly in his Oscar-length acceptance speech, that it was unusual for a lawyer to win the prestigious award for Industry Leadership, but not unsurprising as there was simply so much legal and compliance work in life insurance. He looked forward to the day when the lawyers can pivot to deregulation.
And so say all of us.
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